Brighton Museum & Art Gallery announces new David Bowie photographic exhibition

Graham Robson September 17, 2020

Brighton Museum & Art Gallery has announced a new David Bowie photographic exhibition, featuring the work of Geoff MacCormack, is to run from Saturday, October 17, 2020 to Sunday, June 6, 2021.

David in costume with Geoff MacCormack, on the set of The Man Who Fell to Earth, 1975. Copyright, Geoff MacCormack.

Geoff MacCormack’s close friend from the age of eight years old was David Jones, the boy who would become David Bowie and one of the most influential performers in music, fashion and theatrical stage craft of the twentieth century.

In 1973 Bowie called his childhood friend and suggested he join his band The Spiders from Mars and go on a worldwide adventure, travelling first class by sea to New York and then on to Japan, Russia, Poland and East and West Germany, just in time for tea at the George V Hotel in Paris, followed by a relaxing holiday in Rome, just to chill out.

David filming the May Day Parade from the window of the InTourist Hotel, Moscow, 1973. Copyright, Geoff MacCormack.

And just when Geoff thought the fun might be over, Bowie said; ‘Would you mind being a Diamond Dog and coming back to New York on an even better ship, eating caviar every day and joining another band, then another band, helping out on a few albums and generally hanging out and having the time of your life for a couple more years?’

Geoff did not hesitate and became Bowie’s backing singer and percussionist in 1973 on the Ziggy Stardust/Aladdin Sane world tour. Arriving in Japan, Geoff ditched his Kodak Instamatic camera in favour of a Nikon and began taking a few images here and there, starting in Siberia on the Trans-Siberian Railway and ending two and a half years later in Los Angeles during the Station To Station sessions.

David backstage at the ‚Äėretirement‚Äô gig for Ziggy Stardust, Hammersmith Odeon, 3 July 1973. Copyright, Geoff MacCormack.

Because Bowie disliked flying they travelled together by cruise liner and trains across the world giving MacCormack and his camera the opportunity to capture Bowie at his most informal and relaxed.

From Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane of Britain’s Glam Rock years, the ground-breaking Diamond Dogs tour across the USA and their obsession with American Soul music, to Bowie’s first major film The Man Who Fell to Earth (1975) and the recording of Station to Station and his Thin White Duke persona, this exhibition of intimate photographs some of which have never been seen before in a public exhibition, gives a glimpse of a close friendship, travel and life on the road with one of the greatest rock stars of all time.

David on the set of The Man Who Fell to Earth, 1975. Copyright, Geoff MacCormack.

The show will be held in the museum’s three large galleries and will include 60 large original framed photographs of Bowie by MacCormack. These photographs will be complemented by a short film never seen before in the UK shot by Bowie on their trip to Moscow in 1973, music videos of Bowie and MacCormack on stage together, film excerpts and music in the galleries.

David asleep on the Trans-Siberian Express, 1973. Copyright, Geoff MacCormack.

Michael Bedingfield, Chair of the Royal Pavilion & Museums Trust, said: ‘Bowie was one of the most influential and captivating artists ever and we know this show will appeal to his many fans of all ages. The images offer a rare glimpse into a fascinating time of his life spent with one of his oldest friends.

‘We are thrilled to be able to offer this show at Brighton Museum as our first major show on reopening after the lockdown.¬† Don’t forget to book your tickets online on our website.’

Tickets will be available to book from Friday, October 2, 2020 by CLICKING HERE

David, 1975. Copyright, Geoff MacCormack.