Just days after the release of his 26th album, prolific pop star, fashion icon, artist, and weirdo David Bowie has died at the age of 69. He has been battling cancer for the last 18 months, a revelation via social media that casts his hospital-bound in a new light, both brilliant and melancholy.
If you’ve been on any social media platform since the news was announced, you’ve probably seen his iconic quote, “I don’t know where I’m going from here but I promise it won’t be boring," quipped on his 50th birthday event at Madison Square Garden. It would be nice to picture Bowie as a physics-defying Starman, changing the lives of aliens across the universe with his space oddity. But I think that quote is best applied simply to the idea of him, in the memories of those of us left here on Earth. From empathy toward visionary weirdos to the enchanting ideas his creativity planted in our lives, Bowie's echo will keep us inspired through the future.
“He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was no different from his life - a work of Art. He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift,” writes longtime friend and collaborator Tony Visconti in a Facebook post. “He will always be with us. For now, it is appropriate to cry.”
Artists around the world are letting out a collective cry of grief over Bowie’s death and appreciation of his life, scrawling hasty tributes in a burst of emotion or highlighting their favored creative efforts inspired by the Thin White Duke. We’ve gathered several artworks with which we most empathised, ranging from French illustrator Jean Jullien to South African collage artist Catherine Holtzhausen. Check out their work below.
London painter and street artist James Cochran.
New York City photographer and music video director Mick Rock.
French illustrator and comic artist Jean Jullien.
Jordanian cartoonist and animator Omar Momani.
South African illustrator and artist Catherine Holtzhausen.
London and Beijing illustrator Zhang Liang Ray.
Spanish illustrator and sculptor Celipe Perroloco.
Comic artist Alli Katz.
Los Angeles-based artist Gary Baseman.
Rio de Janeiro flower artist Floriografia.
Tokyo illustrator, UI designer, photographer, and visual artist Chiyun Yeh.
Argentina-based art director and illustrator Kidmograph.
See more David Bowie tributes on Instagram.