Reminisce with Us Via These Rarely Seen Photos of David Bowie in the 70s

News. Posted 5 months ago

Rosie Dalton

Image: David Bowie by Steve Schapiro. Image source.

David Bowie would have been turning 70 last Sunday and we are still struggling to wrap our heads around the fact that he died a year ago yesterday. As one of the greatest creative talents of our time, his presence is still sorely missed by many. As evidenced at the Golden Globes this year — which took place on his birthday and during which actress Evan Rachel Wood paid homage to the late great Ziggy Stardust by wearing a sharp, flared tuxedo with pussy bow blouse.

Inspired by Wood’s tribute, we’re remembering the artist in our own way — by mining through the annals of rarely seen photos of the legend, as lensed by Steve Schapiro. “In documentary, you are trying to record a moment. You are not just trying to get close enough to get a portrait, you are trying to get a sense of the time period and the place,” the photographer muses of his creative process and desire to capture intimate moments with the likes of Bowie.

His book Bowie By Steve Schapiro has just been published by PowerHouse books and is chock full of mostly never-before-seen photographs of the late icon. “One day, [his manager] asked me if I wanted to photograph Bowie and I said yes before finishing the sentence,” he recalls of how their creative collaboration first began. “I have experienced photographing a lot of people, but, Bowie, he was different. He was calm, very intelligent, didn’t drag around 20 cases of beer with him… we talked about philosophy and he had a very definite idea of what he wanted to do… he was very specific, he kept changing and pushing things further and further.”

He also says some of the best images he took of Bowie were those that were most spontaneous. “When we shot together last October, he borrowed a dark shirt from my assistant and came out with it back on. Then, he started drawing circles on the background paper and drew a diagram from the tree of life,” Schapiro remembers. “At the time, it was clear he was in spiritual mood but, now, to find that it was also in his final video, wearing a similar outfit which he had never worn before… it is just another example of how Bowie continually transformed himself and changed his directions. It shows that his ideas were always his and I just helped to bring them into the light of day.”

Image: David Bowie by Steve Schapiro. Image source.

Image: David Bowie by Steve Schapiro. Image source.

Image: David Bowie by Steve Schapiro. Image source.

Image: David Bowie by Steve Schapiro. Image source.

Image: David Bowie by Steve Schapiro. Image source.

Image: David Bowie by Steve Schapiro. Image source.

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