If, like me, you were born in Britain in the early 6o’s then your ‘formative’ years will have been influenced by David Bowie. Period. I only have to close my eyes and think back to those wonderful heady days of my youth and the back ground music is ‘Space Oddity, Spiders from Mars, Rock n Roll Suicide, Hero’s, Fame, Diamond Dogs’ Fashion and many more. To hear just the first few bars of any of these hits and my mind is immediately fertile with the memories of living through that amazing era. Bowie never stood in one place. He was perfectly attuned to the psyche of the 70’s generation and reinvented himself time and time again to align himself with the changing tastes and desires of his fans as they aged over the next four decades.
On news of his recent death, I felt like a small but important part of me died too. Like the well thumbed pages of a treasured book finally disintegrated and fell as dust. Those once warm and fond memories darkened a little and I felt a chill in the core of me. Perhaps my own mortality calling?
I do not normally paint celebrities but on this occasion I felt a need to release him and painting for me delivers that release. Not just for me but for the countless other 50 plus year olds who doubtless felt the same cold tug of grief. Not grief for a man but grief for the young, excited, hungry for life kids we once were.
I took my brushes and my paints and said Goodbye to Major Tom.