Tuesday, January 12, 2016

#DavidBowie: Master of Self-Expression / #trailblazer #music #art #film #father

Much can be said about David Bowie's music, fashion and entrance into popular culture. The 'Thin White Duke' was a game changer in Western culture. His appearance gave license to millions to literally change music, artistic perspective and fashion over night which, alongside other forces of his time, led to a new day in how we express ourselves. His rise in stardom at a time in history that was plagued with civil right growing pains also helped cement a new pattern for youth and music allowing for a 'breakaway' from old social norms and societal balances.

Mr. Bowie was very different from The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. It is as if he had no handlers and his metamorphosis as an artist sped past the ability of the 'old establishment' to make sense of it. In essence, David Bowie achieved 'breakaway velocity.' It was hard to categorize him or his music at the time.

Personally, my first introduction to Mr. David Bowie was through the children's movie, Labyrinth, which he starred in opposite actress Jennifer Connelly. A fantastic tale of a far-away dream world dominated by Bowie's character and filled with all sorts of odd creatures and fantastic places. In this tale, Bowie's kingly character nonchalantly masterminded the story from afar through song and a charismatic persona, which kept those he ruled over at bay and the the stories protagonist always one to two steps behind.

Mr. Bowie had an easy-going character and was both affable and witty making excellent use of his paraverbal skills (how we say what we say), as well as his ability to communicate expression well without words. He had a great number of movies to his credit which complimented his exceptional musical talents. Of note, I relate to his ability to re-transform himself over and over again, not just keeping with the times, but being at the forefront of them in many ways. Like or dislike him, he was successful in all that he set his heart and mind to. This fact surpasses his artistic expression and places him in the pantheon of people who have demonstrated indomitable will to break through onto a stardom that is more than the 140 million records he sold, or the 14 Platinum, 8 Silver and 18 Gold albums he was awarded. Though current younger generations may not be aware of the magnitude of his influence on the world, this does not take away from his accomplishments as a human being. He was a giant and trailblazer. Bowie was able to sift, retrieve, channel and integrate ideas bringing them into his music making him an enigmatic figure decade after decade across different mediums of self-expression. He rocked it out as he saw fit and by doing so, refashioned what it meant to be an artist.

He is survived by his son Duncan and his 2nd wife, Iman, a Somali-born super model, long-time philantropist and still a gorgeous woman who stood by him which is a testament to his character.  Mr. Bowie stayed relevant all the way. He continued to produce music (and has a new album just out) till his passing away of cancer after an 18 month battle on January 10, 2016.

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