It has been wonderful timing to be in Mexico City on the anniversary of David Bowie’s death (and what would have been his 70th birthday). Because unlike anything I have ever encountered, including in his adopted home of New York City, he’s everywhere.
For example, on my way to the local pizzeria the other night–where they were playing The Last Town Chorus’s cover of Modern Love–the streetlights and walls were plastered with posters of Aladdin Sane:
Why? An exhibit of original photographs known as Duffy/Bowie: Five Sessions is on display at the Museum of the City of Mexico.
Of course, I went:
The banner advertising the exhibit. Brian Duffy photographed Bowie five times over about a decade, most of it ridiculously iconic. Here, you can see the guestbook. If you look very closely, you’ll see an entry: BOWIE > DIOS.
I loved watching people interact with the photos. The visitors were of all ages, but most were in their teens or 20s–how many 69-year-old musicians have that kind of following?
The clown outfit appears in the video for Ashes to Ashes.
Thee exhibit also includes shots from his Thin White Duke era, Ziggy Stardust (the quilt suit) and an album cover for Lodger; sadly none of my photos of those turned out well. But, the big draw at this exhibit is the series of prints for Aladdin Sane, and the lighting (mostly) cooperated.
Cringing at my reflection in the photo, as I not-so-sneakily take a photo of a young couple looking at a negative.
Aladdin! Up close! You can even see how his eyeliner is smudged on.
But that’s not where his presence ends. One block from our Airbnb rental is the restaurant Bowie, which features smoked foods (get the smoked guacamole, btw) and cocktails not often on the menu in Mexico City restaurants.
While there, you can sit below a giant mural of Bowie, made with bottle caps:
Beat that, New York City.