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World's First David Bowie Statue Unveiled

'Earthly Messenger' the David Bowie bronze statue in Aylesbury's Market Square. Image: David Stopps / Kickstarter

A David Bowie statue was recently unveiled in Aylesbury, England, which is the place where Bowie debuted his musical alter ego, Ziggy Stardust. The Buckinghamshire town’s Market Square is now home to what is considered the first statue of the Starman, who passed away in January 2016 of cancer, but not before leaving fans a parting gift of one final album, Blackstar.

Now fans can also pay homage to the iconic and beloved singer and performer by making a pilgrimage to this bronze statue. The statue, which was crowdfunded on Kickstarter, features numerous stage incarnations throughout The Thin White Duke’s career. It features Ziggy at the centre and a besuited 80s Bowie standing, grinning, next to that and then various personas behind these.

David Bowie applying Ziggy Stardust makeup in Scotland, 1973. © Mick Rock

Speaking about the design of the piece, its designer Andrew Sinclair told the NME, “Design is an interesting thing and it tends to come up as a thought bubble after you’ve been thinking about it for quite a while. This is inspired by the fact that he was such a Mercurial character. He created and recreated himself so many times. Fans during those periods related to those particular characters. My responsibility was to create something that appealed to as many of his fans as possible. Rather than just going with Ziggy, which was his connection to Aylesbury, it seemed the ideal opportunity to create another 15 portraits of him that encompass his career. The design came from that prerogative.”

David Bowie performing as the legendary Ziggy Stardust at Newcastle City Hall, June 1973. © Ian Dickson

The sculpture is titled Earthly Messenger and speakers above the artwork pump out Bowie hits on the hour every hour. Aylesbury, as well as being home to the venue Friars where Ziggy Stardust made his first performance, also debuted two of the Ziggy's albums too. 

Along with the statue, David Stopps, who ran the crowdfunding campaign, also petitioned to get the town’s name changed from Aylesbury to Aylesbowie. “In recognition of Bowie's strong connection with Aylesbury". Stopps said, according to the BBC. "Since records began there have been 57 variations of the town's name." he noted. But it looks like this hasn’t been as successful as the statue.

David Bowie posing for the camera in between filming at a Japanese restaurant in Los Angeles, 1975 © Geoff MacCormack

Since its unveiling it seems not everyone is happy with the David Bowie statue, as it was vandalised not long after the unveiling on the 25 March. Someone had sprayed graffiti on it stating, “feed the homeless first, RIP DB”.

Sinclair noted to the NME about the vandalism. “I was pretty upset. I just hate wanton destruction. This whole project was put together by the fans and for the fans – and for Bowie’s family and memory. There’s a lot of love and a lot of intent, and a huge amount of hard work.”

In other Bowie news, a film version of David Bowie’s musical Lazarus (which he wrote with Enda Walsh in the months prior to his death) will be getting a special premiere on 2 May at the Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, New York. The film premiere will be accompanied by a live band playing Bowie’s music which features in the work, and hopefully it will preclude a worldwide theatrical release of the film.

See below for a video about the bronze Bowie statue.

Rockarchive is delighted to be able to offer many iconic David Bowie images as limited edition photographic prints which you can buy here.

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