David Bowie exhibition curator: 'He wanted the most fantastical things possible'

Geoff Marsh speaks to NME about the exhibits found inside sold out exhibition

David Bowie exhibition curator: 'He wanted the most fantastical things possible'

Photo: Sukita

Geoff Marsh, the co-curator of the David Bowie Is exhibition, has spoken to NME about some of the iconic images on display at the V&A museum in London.

Speaking to NME in the special collectors' edition Bowie magazine, out now, Marsh revealed that the iconic image adorning the 'Aladdin Sane' cover was used partly as a trick to make sure that Bowie's record label were fully behind the release. "It was shot in 1972 by Brian Duffy just behind the Swiss Cottage tube," says Marsh. "There was a big argument about who came up with the idea of the flash but the key thing about it is that Tony DeFries, Bowie's manager, had told them to try make it as expensive a cover as possible to ensure that the record company would then promote it. So it was done by a very complicated printing process that could only be done in Switzerland so it was fantastically expensive."

Meanwhile, discussing the famous Aladdin Sane bodysuit, Marsh continues: "It's so weird! He met Kansai Yamamoto in 1971 when Kansai was the first Japanese designer to show in London ever, and Bowie, amazingly attended his fashion show. That's the whole thing about Bowie, he's got these antennae, looking around. It represents not just getting into Japanese styles but wanting the most fantastical things possible."

Pre-sale tickets for David Bowie Is, which features 300 Bowie related artefacts, including photographs, film, set designs, handwritten lyrics and 60 stage costumes, have sold faster than any other exhibit at the museum. A spokesperson for the V&A said: "We have sold over 47,000 tickets for the exhibition. It is the most pre-sale tickets that we have ever recorded for an exhibition."

Original Ziggy Stardust bodysuits are on display, as are Kansai Yamamoto's Aladdin Sane tour outfits and a Union Jack coat designed by Alexander McQueen and Bowie himself for the cover of 1997's 'Earthling' album. The exhibition runs until August this year.

NME's special collectors' magazine on David Bowie is out now and includes the complete Bowie story, iconic and rare photographs, every era and character analysed plus classic NME interviews with Bowie himself.

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