David Bowie exhibition breaks box office records

Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:33am EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - Ziggy played guitar. But as a new exhibition devoted to singer David Bowie's long and innovative career makes clear, he also wrote lyrics, checked every detail of his outlandish costumes, appeared in movies and helped design his own stage sets.

"David Bowie is", which runs from March 23 to August 11, has broken box office records at London's Victoria & Albert Museum, with 50,000 advance tickets sold.

Organizers at a press preview on Wednesday were at pains to point out that more tickets were available and the demand underlines 66-year-old Bowie's lasting impact on music, fashion, video and beyond.

It also coincides with the release just over a week ago of Bowie's new album "The Next Day", his first new material for a decade. The record hit number one in the British album charts at the weekend, marking his return to the top after 20 years.

"His radical innovations across music, theatre, fashion and style still resound today in design and visual culture and he continues to inspire artists and designers throughout the world," said Martin Roth, director of the V&A.

Drawing heavily on the David Bowie Archive, the show features more than 300 objects, with pride of place going to Bowie's stage costumes which allowed him to adopt alternative personas and create an aura of mystery and invention.

Among the recognizable outfits are a striped bodysuit by Japanese designer Kansai Yamamoto for the Aladdin Sane tour in 1973 and the Pierrot costume by Natasha Korniloff which featured in the groundbreaking music video for "Ashes to Ashes".

"SEISMIC SHIFT"   Continued...

A neon sign is seen at the "David Bowie is" Exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, March 20, 2013. REUTERS/Neil Hall