The world is currently mourning the loss of musician, artist, and cultural icon David Bowie, who died on January 10 after an 18-month battle with cancer. At 69, Bowie lived an incredible and inspiring life defined by uncompromising self-expression and an ever-evolving range of alter egos like Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, and the Thin White Duke.
Bowie starred in several films, including the 1986 cult hit Labyrinth and the 1996 biopic Basquiat, in which he portrayed none other than Andy Warhol (whom he also wrote a song about in 1971). He was also a visual artist and collector, and made significant contributions to the world of fashion, which became the basis of the blockbuster Victoria & Albert Museum exhibition “David Bowie Is.”
Bowie played frequent muse to a revolving cast of photographers, eager to capture his unique look, outlandish exploits, and lasting cultural significance. Below, a few of our favorites.
Terry O’Neill, David Bowie – Scissors, 1974 (1974).
British singer David Bowie performs on stage during a concert in La Courneuve on July 3, 1987.
Image: BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images.
Terry O’Neill, Elizabeth Taylor / David Bowie, 1974 (1974).
David Bowie, Art Garfunkel, Paul Simon, Yoko Ono, John Lennon, and Roberta Flack at the Grammy Awards, New York, 1975.
David Bowie’s mugshot.
Photo: Open Culture.
February 1970: Pop singer David Bowie at the ‘Disc and Music Echo’ Valentine Awards ceremony at the Cafe Royal in London.
Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images.
9th May 1973: Pop phenomenon David Bowie, sporting a stripy jacket with wide lapels, visits comedy duo Peter Cook (1937 – 1995), and Dudley Moore (1935 – 2002) backstage at the Cambridge Theatre in London, following the pair’s show ‘Behind The Fridge’. David is to appear at Earl’s Court on Saturday, the first date of his British tour. Photo: Keystone/Getty Images.
NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 26: Rock legend David Bowie autographs copies of his newest album “Outside” at the grand opening of a Herald Square music store 26 September in New York. Bowie will appear in concert 27 and 28 September at the Meadowlands Stadium as part of his tour with the new album. AFP PHOTO. Photo: JON LEVY/AFP/Getty Images.
David Bowie and Iman. Photo: Diane Freed.
David Bowie arrives for the 11th Annual Tibet House Benefit Concert February 26, 2001 at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Photo: George De Sota/Newsmakers.
17th May 1971: English pop star David Bowie with singer Dana Gillespie.
Photo: Michael Stroud/Express/Getty Images.
David Bowie performing in his ‘Angel of Death’ costume at a live recording for a Midnight Special TV show made at The Marquee Club in London to a specially invited audience of Bowie fanclub members, 20th October 1973. (\
Photo: Jack Kay/Express/Getty Images.
British singer and actor David Bowie attends the Cannes International Film Festival on May 1978. AFP PHOTO
Photo: AFP/Getty Images.
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British rock singer and actor David Bowie walks at Heathrow Airport, wearing a suit and sweater and holding his coat, before embarking on a tour of America and Canada, London, England, March 16, 1978.
Photo: Express Newspapers/Getty Images.