OK, so let’s get one thing straight from the off: David Bowie was not only a talent and whatever but also fine as hell. Casting his face in bronze was always going to present problems because have you ever in your life seen a bronze sculpture of a beautiful person that felt true to their features? Do you remember the Cristiano Ronaldo one from last year? Getting it right is a rare feat. I’d venture so far as to say it’s nearly impossible.
But over the weekend, a Bowie… let’s call it a Bowie likeness was unveiled in Aylesbury, the Buckinghamshire town where he first performed live as his Ziggy Stardust alter ego. Now, Aylesbury's Market Square holds the honor of being the first British home of a statue in Bowie's memory. You can learn all about this at the top of the page, in a low-res, 15-minute video—which inexplicably opens with footage from a live gig by a local band called Callow Saints—that an Aylesbury News account posted on Sunday. The crowdfunded statue is a sort of greatest hits of many of Bowie's performance personas, with regular 2002 'hanging out in my suit' Bowie smiling fondly while looking at all of them. Guys, it's weird. It's weird and also completely apt for a small town so obsessed with Bowie that some residents launched a petition to rename their home "Aylesbowie" a couple of weeks ago. This is some real shit.
People are calling this the world’s first, but they haven’t read the YouTube comment by someone who posts as Rene van der Krogt, and pointed out that a Bowie statue erected in 2016 already exists in Zagreb. That one's more of a bust, really, but does feature his Stardust persona—and in color!! Anyway, this latest statue mostly resembles Bowie in the areas near the back, where his face is more of a relief than a full 3D, 'you can walk around this and inspect it from every angle' sculpture. That main Bowie at the front, the Ziggy centrepiece, veers too close to dodgy Beatles-in-Mongolia territory. So yes, while this is a proud moment for an English town, I'm going to need someone to explain why we cast faces in bronze when they don't always turn out that well. But hey, it's not as bad as the football ones: Ronaldo and Ted Bates will always be in a league of their own.
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This article originally appeared on Noisey UK.