To mark what would have been singer David Bowie’s 73rd birthday on 8th January, Zebra One Gallery is releasing three rare images of the late icon by photographer Kate Garner in an exclusive, new series of signed colourways.
The images are from an extraordinary 1995 shoot in Los Angeles which saw the Starman singer, who died in 2016, tied up with ropes and suspended from the ceiling, wrapped in bandages and put inside a giant tube. They are the only David Bowie images Kate Garner has left, after her entire photograph collection was stolen from storage in LA, 12 years ago. Fortunately, a friend had rescued this piece of history by keeping a handful of prints and negatives in his London studio.
Kate Garner’s career includes a stint in band Haysi Fantayzee, multimedia exhibitions in London and San Francisco and art collaborations with Sinead O’Connor, Bjork and John Galliano. She says of the David Bowie photos: “I was never a crazy Bowie fan, preferring the rough edges of Iggy to David’s personas, but after spending an afternoon with this magician, I found him to be one of the most amazing humans I have ever met.
“He was incredibly charming and had researched who I was and discovered that I had worked with his friend and producer Tony Visconti, who said that David was one of his favourite artists to work with.
“He even learned the words to my songs and sung them to me over the lunch table, while staring directly into my eyes. He also showed me photographs of his paintings and asked me to give a critique of them. This, along with the fact that he had a translucent beauty at the age of 47, made him pretty hard to resist.”
The challenging shoot was for two different magazine covers in one afternoon, and both Esquire and Raygun wanted creative control. But Bowie made the experience as easy as possible, by happily allowing Garner to suspend him from ropes and put him inside a tube.
She adds: “The only request David balked at was me photographing his naked back from behind, because he had scoliosis.
“After we had finished, David asked me if I wanted to do another, more intimate, easy-going session and did I want to photograph Iman, his wife? Yes. Yes please!
“At that time I lived in an old 40’s apartment in LA with beautiful light. I envisioned photographs of him on the white bed with sunlight pouring in over his white skin. I asked The Face magazine if they would be interested in sponsoring the session. They declined saying he had ‘sold out!’ Unbelievable.
“So, the second session never happened. I’m sad he left Planet Earth so soon. I miss his presence.”
Zebra One Gallery owner and curator, Gabrielle Du Plooy adds: “We’re so excited to be able to share this amazing piece of history. To celebrate what would have been his birthday, these three rare images are bring sold exclusively through us, with gold and pink editions as well as black-and-white.”
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