The world is in stunned mourning of the loss of iconic musician and artist David Bowie, who passed away late Sunday, January 10, 2016, reportedly after an 18-month battle with cancer. He was 69 years old.
On social media, fans and fellow musicians turned to art to pay tribute to Bowie. Far and away, the most-shared image is a GIF by British illustrator Helen Green — an animated compilation of her 27 portraits of Bowie's most beloved personas and incarnations. The recurring theme in all written tributes to Bowie is the loss of his incredible weirdness — and the responsibility of the creative community to carry on his legacy of eccentricity, genre-bending, and experimentation. In the words of The New York Times writer Jon Pareles: "Mr. Bowie's costumes and imagery traversed styles, eras, and continents, from German Expressionism to commedia dell'arte to Japenese kimonos to space suits. He set an example, and a challenge, for every arena spectacle in his wake." More succinctly, Hilton Als writes in The New Yorker: "[Bowie] always got to the unknown first."
In a 2002 interview with The New York Daily News, Bowie balked at being called an intellectual. "It's not a term I apply to myself," he says. "What I have is a malevolent curiosity. That's what drives my need to write and what probably leads me to look at things a little askew. I do tend to take a different perspective from most people."
Here, 18 different illustrators remember David Bowie through their own artistic perspectives — from typography to '80s pop to cubism:
by Jean André