David Bowie painting by Jules Rees
Ebook available here: The Metamophic life of Davy Jones. The book that explains the surreal David Bowie painting. Complete with up close photos and sketches. Follow the journey I take into making one of my paintings.
Surreal David Bowie painting
ebook now available here for $3 USD find out how and why this piece came into being, complete with photos of each part and sketches explaining my journey in depth.
My surreal David Bowie painting is now complete after many hours of research and painting (240 approx). The journey of me creating this painting will soon be available in book form. I am in the final editing stages of it. I hope to bring it to you by the end of October 2013, I do have to find out the legalities if there are any in relation to the book. This painting stands 2 meters high and is rather wonderful in the flesh. If you really want to immerse yourself into this piece I highly recommend reading: Strange Fascination by David Buckley. I personally didn’t realise how wonderful Bowie’s life was until then. I don’t believe I will paint another pop star as I don’t think anyone’s life could speak to me quite like this one. I have thought I might actually do someone like Mozart and see if I can bring his music to life on canvas! But first I must crack on with The Book of Revelations and The History of Wales. Phew such a lot of work to be getting on with. Undercoating starts this week so stay tuned!
David Bowie is set to be youtubed in the next few months, hopefully it’ll bring it alive for those who are unable to see it in the flesh. It is proving very popular at the gallery and has stirred much interest from buyers. As yet I still won’t let it go not sure if I ever will!
In the mean time here are a few snippets from that book: The Metamorphic life of Davy Jones
My focus for the first canvas was to be the pre-Ziggy era. In a lot of my paintings I like to paint houses that have many rooms, each one telling a story. So, in keeping with my design aesthetic I choose Hadden Hall as the focal point. This canvas I saw as portraying a heady giddy time, late 60’s feel, a time of great creativity, and a fond era in the artist’s life.
The second canvas would be the persona years of Bowie’s life – Ziggy, Aladin Sane and the Thin White Duke. It was a time where he rocketed to stardom.
The third canvas is his post alter ego years.
I wanted all three canvases to work together so I decided to cut the windows out of the first canvas so you could peer through to the second canvas and see the rooms inside. Each canvas has been orchestrated to flow from one to the other in a spiral fashion.
Surreal David Bowie painting: Canvas 1
The stain glass windows are one of my favourite bits on this front piece. This part was difficult to paint as the portraits are less than an inch square and I had to paint seven of them, all correctly. The first image of Warhol I used didn’t work, it ended up looking like a goats head. Being the perfectionist that I am, I searched for another image. Finally, I found one that I knew was right as I could recreate his famous Marilyn Monroe look but using his head.
I think it’s a fabulous part to the painting. David created the song Warhol as a tribute but Andy didn’t like it, so I thought the windows would work perfectly for my tribute to the song.
I hope my painting is received on better terms.
Major Tom appears inside the metal Telescope. This points directly towards the planet Earth on the second canvas and is in direct correlation to the Space Oddity lyrics ‘Planet Earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do’.
This completes the first canvas and the spider is the bridge to the next.
The second canvas is all about David’s character creations.
We start this canvas with Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.
I decided to paint the band members as the actual spiders with their instruments. The metal spider represents David, it has ball bearings for eyes and one is larger than the other.
The story of the Ziggy character is a tale of a Starman and how the infinites jump from black hole to black hole. Here, inspired by the unique make up of his pupils (one is fixed in dilation due to an accident in his youth) I made the two black holes reflect their composition. At the end of Ziggy’s life the infinites rip him to pieces and so we see this at the end of the yellow brick road.
Surreal David Bowie Painting: Canvas 2
We now move to the last canvas. This moves past David’s facades.
At this time we have allusions to his film and acting career as well as his music.
The clown is dragging a bath with the elephant man in it down the stairs. In the bath are a few phallic images:
When David played the elephant man on stage, in one of the scenes he was naked in a bath. The stage crew (wanting to have fun with David) used to fill the bath with pornography and paraphernalia.
The many stairs relate towards the film ‘Labyrinth’ as does the image of Bowie later on, appearing to hold the moon in his hand. For most of my generation we all remember him as the Goblin king, but I didn’t want that to take over the painting. In Labyrinth all I really remember is David Bowie wandering up and down the maze of steps, but not wanting to copy the original I placed my own version of them in the painting.
Surreal David Bowie painting: Canvas 3