Don’t Miss Bowie

A well-known audio enthusiast/tech writer friend of mine, Steve Guttenberg, (not the actor), told me not to miss the “David Bowie Is” exhibit currently at the Brooklyn Museum, March 2 to July 15th. I plan to see it in May when I’m in New York for an extensive period of time.

Steve just wrote about the exhibit for CNET where it caught my eye because he usually writes audio reviews. He wanted to do the Bowie piece because the entertainer was one of the most talented performers of his time. He was a musician, writer, dancer, actor, painter and a mime.

Steve said when you see the exhibit you realize that Bowie was always full of surprises. He led a free-spirited life that allowed him to explore many different paths. For folks who have had lots of aspirations, but never acted on them, Bowie’s exhibit is a reminder of what could have been.

Everyone who visits the exhibit gets a state-of-the-art headphone by Sennheiser, which provides what the Brooklyn Museum calls a “total immersive audio experience through the theatrical scene-settings and animation videos. There is quite a lot to see from stage costumes and portrait photographs to Bowie’s handwritten lyrics and even his coke spoon.”

Steve said what makes this exhibit so different is that the visitor receives the audio presentation automatically through the Sennheiser headphones when he or she stands in front of each showcase. They do not have to keep changing exhibit numbers. It’s one -of-a-kind.

Steve Guttenberg is another free spirit who refers to himself as the Audiophiliac. You can see Steve explain his love for music and the world of audio in the above video. For many years Steve was a movie theater projectionist, a high-end audio salesman and a record producer. He now reviews audio products for CNET, and freelancers for Home Theater, Inner Fidelity, Tone Audio and Stereophile.

Steve is a character. Be sure to watch all of his videos on YouTube. He certainly takes you behind the scenes in the world of music.

Read Steve’s CNET story here.

More from the Brooklyn Museum website ….

Photography and filming are not allowed in the exhibition.

Organized with unprecedented access to David Bowie’s personal archive, this exhibition explores the creative process of an artist whose sustained reinventions, innovative collaborations, and bold characterizations revolutionized the way we see music, inspiring people to shape their own identities while challenging social traditions. David Bowie is has been touring globally for the past five years and is taking its final bow at the Brooklyn Museum, providing an opportunity to view this one-of-a-kind material.

David Bowie is presents approximately 400 objects drawn primarily from the David Bowie Archive, including the artist’s original costumes, handwritten lyric sheets from famous songs, original album art, photographs, and videos, all tracing Bowie’s creative process from his teenage years in England through his last twenty years, when he resided in New York City. The archive is presented within an immersive, multimedia installation that includes continuous audio along with projected animation and video.

Highlights of the exhibition include more than 60 custom-made performance costumes, including six designed by Freddie Burretti for Ziggy Stardust / 1980 Floor Show and seven designed by Kansai Yamamoto for Aladdin Sane. There are 85 handwritten lyric sheets, including those from “Fame” and “Fashion”; drawings, including a sketch for the Young Americans album cover; and oil paintings, including two of musician Iggy Pop, all by Bowie.

There are also more than 40 pioneering music videos, television clips, and filmed roles as well as a multimedia presentation of international tour footage with rare scenes from the legendary Diamond Dogs tour, filmed in Philadelphia. A custom audio mix made up of snippets of Bowie’s songs—produced by longtime collaborator Tony Visconti—is also featured.

David Bowie is is organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

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