With over 300 items chronicling the extraordinary career of this colourful British chameleon, ‘David Bowie is’ has become the hottest exhibition in London. But would YOU spend nearly £5,000 on a Bowie print?

David Bowie album cover shoot for Aladdin Sane

Image Source: V&A

The ‘David Bowie is’ exhibition, now showing at the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) in London until early August, has become an overnight sensation thanks in large part to the V&A’s unprecedented access to David Bowie’s substantial archive of music, videos, film, photography, costumes, handwritten lyrics, set designs and other memorabilia.

The museum is also selling a collection of David Bowie prints and posters, many of which are limited editions that will be sold exclusively at the V&A Shop for the duration of the exhibition only. As part of our on-going series of Design & Print Inspiration blogs, Solopress thought it would be fun to take a closer look at the five most expensive David Bowie prints now on sale at the V&A.

“These album covers and prints are something we have grown up with, and are in keeping with the styles of the era,” says Julie Simpkins, one of the expert graphic designers at Solopress. “Of course, they are more quirky than some. This was David Bowie’s style and something that made him the star he is now. They also show his versatility and inventiveness.”

Hunky Dory Album Cover (1971)

David Bowie Cover for Hunky Dory Album

Image Source: Sound Station

Best known for his iconic artwork on David Bowie’s Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust albums (featured above and below), artist Terry Pastor has also produced album and book covers for Arthur C Clark, Michael Crichton, Micky Spillane and The Beach Boys. To create the album artwork for Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust, Pastor colourised a black & white photograph by applying photo-dyes with an airbrush.

Specs:
26 x 27 inch paper size and 19 x 19 inch image size unframed screenprint and Giclee on 330gsm Somerset Velvet Enhanced paper | Limited edition of 195 | Signed by David Bowie and Terry Pastor in pencil

Cost:
Limited Edition Print is £2,250

Buy it:
http://www.vandashop.com/Cover-Hunky-Album-Limited-Edition/dp/B00BL0EWXO/

Ziggy Stardust Album Cover (1972)

David Bowie Cover for Ziggy Stardust Album

Image Source: FAMEMAGAZINE

This is Terry Pastor’s most famous creation. The original b&w photograph that served as the basis for his album cover image showed David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust standing on London’s trendy Heddon Street. Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust character, a human manifestation of an alien being, has a daringly androgynous and otherworldly appearance.

Specs:
28 x 27 inch paper size and 18.9 x 18.9 inch image size unframed colour silkscreen and Giclee fine art print on 330gsm Somerset Velvet Enhanced paper | Limited Edition of 195 | Signed by David Bowie and Terry Pastor in pencil

Cost:
Limited Edition Print is £2,250

Buy it:
http://www.vandashop.com/Cover-Ziggy-Stardust-Limited-Edition/dp/B00BL0EWK2/

The Archer (1976)

David Bowie The Archer Limited Edition Print

Image Source: V&A

The Archer from the 1976 Station to Station tour is said to be one of David Bowie’s all-time favourite photographs of himself. According to Bowie’s official website, renowned rock photographer John Rowlands took the shot from about 30 feet away from the Station to Station stage and he credits his Hasselblad camera for producing an image that boasts such a sharp contrast of white, black and grey.

Specs:
44 x 32 inch unframed Giclee print on 330gsm Somerset Velvet Enhanced paper | Limited edition of 100 | Signed by John Rowlands and David Bowie

Cost:
Limited Edition Print is £2,750

Buy it:
http://www.vandashop.com/Archer-Rowlands-Limited-Edition-Print/dp/B00BPX8O2C/

Aladdin Sane Contact Sheet (1973)

David Bowie Aladdin Sane Contact Sheet print

Image Source: Lucy Bell Fine Art

Along with David Bailey and Terence Donovan, English photographer Brian Duffy is best remembered for his groundbreaking fashion photography during the 1960s and 70s. His collaboration with David Bowie resulted in this striking photo-shoot for Bowie’s sixth album, Aladdin Sane, in 1973.

Specs:
24 x 24 inch unframed K3 pigment ink archival print on Fuji Baryte paper | Limited edition of 50 | Signed by Brian Duffy

Cost:
Limited Edition Print is £3,456

Buy it:
http://www.vandashop.com/Aladdin-Contact-Sheet-Limited-Edition/dp/B00BL9ABM6/

Publicity Shot for Diamond Dogs (1974)

David Bowie Publicity Shot for Diamond Dogs

Image Source: Celebrites Galleries

This brilliant photo by Terry O’Neill was carefully staged for dramatic effect rather than an accidental stroke of luck. The dog was actually leaping towards a piece of meat dangled from above. In 2011, O’Neill was awarded The Royal Photographic Society’s Centenary Medal in “recognition of a sustained, significant contribution to the art of photography”.

Specs:
30 x 40 inch unframed Silver Gelatin digital archival print | Limited edition of 50 | Signed by Terry O’Neill

Cost:
Limited Edition Print is £4,800

Buy it:
http://www.vandashop.com/Publicity-Diamond-Limited-Edition-Print/dp/B00BL99Q6I/

About David Bowie is

David Bowie was born 1947 in Brixton, London. Back then he was still known as David Robert Jones. He officially adopted the stage name of David Bowie in 1965 when his pursuit of a professional singing and acting career began in earnest. Space Oddity, fortuitously coinciding with NASA’s manned moon landing in 1969, was Bowie’s first major hit single.

Sponsored by luxury fashion brand Gucci and sound specialists Sennheiser, V&A’s new ‘David Bowie is’ exhibition takes an in-depth look at how David Bowie’s music – infused with his originality and individuality – has both influenced and been influenced by art, design and contemporary culture.

BBC TWO, in collaboration with the V&A, will also broadcast a feature length profile of the legendary David Bowie in May. This documentary will include rare and revealing audio recordings of Bowie and focus on five critical years in his career to date – 1971, 1975, 1977, 1980 and 1983.

“David Bowie is a true icon, more relevant to popular culture now than ever,” explains Martin Roth, Director of the V&A. “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. We are thrilled to be presenting the first ever exhibition drawn from the David Bowie Archive.”

Open daily 10am to 5.45pm (10pm on Fridays), David Bowie is runs at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 until 11th August 2013. Tickets cost £14 (V&A members go free).

David Bowie is V&A exhibition installation

Image Source: V&A

What the UK media think…

“David Bowie is the Steve Jobs of rock, the Picasso of pop.”
BBC

“Bowie’s decisions, both in terms of style and music, have been flawless.”
GQ

“The Victoria and Albert Museum’s David Bowie exhibition has become its fastest-selling event.”
Sky News

“The exhibition treats Bowie’s rise as a heroic tale of self-determination and cultural mobility.”
The Financial Times

“What’s happening at the V&A is, quite literally, a canonisation.”
The Guardian

For more news and views on the David Bowie is exhibition, search on Twitter using the #DavidBowieis hashtag or visit the V&A’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/victoriaandalbertmuseum.

Sound and Vision

Love music and print? Us too! You may also be interested in these Solopress blog articles…

What song lyric would you print on your business card?

How to design your posters

Understanding Giclee Printing

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Have Your Say

What do YOU think of these ‘David Bowie is’ prints and posters? Are you going to visit the V&A’s exhibition? Please scroll down this page to the ‘Leave a Reply’ box below and post your message (you can also comment via the Facebook box)…

Author: Rik Haynes

Are you passionate about graphic design? My Google+ page at https://google.com/+RikHaynes is updated daily with the latest design news, free tutorials and inspirational work from the world's best web and print designers.

69 Comments

  1. The Ziggy cover and Diamond Dogs are pretty cool but prices are a little steep for me, does one haggle with the V&A ?

  2. I am keen to visit this exhibition during the summer as it strikes me as being pretty interesting but nearly £5000 for a print and not even a frame with it – I don’t think!

  3. Bowie made some great songs and they are still popular today, I personally think he was much better than a lot of the old groups, and definitely better than the new ones, I never got into the Beatle hype, but I think because he was so different he really wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, perhaps a new generation might see this art and then listen to his many hits, and realise what a treat he actually was. Give me Jean Genie and Ground Control to Major Tom anyday. At least you could understand the words.

  4. The Aladdin Sane contact sheet and the Hunky Dorey Album cover are great pieces of modern art – shame about the prices a little too steep for me but I would love any of these prints on my walls

  5. I can safely say I would be very unlikely to spend 5000 on one of these prints, though to be fair they aren’t really my taste- whether I would spend 5000 on any print is a serious question!

  6. I love David Bowie. My 3 year old saw his photo on the front of a magazine on a recent trip to Disneyland and asked me who he was. I told her and she had a right old giggle called him Bowie David. A week after the holiday, she is still a fan – as am I. Perhaps I should take her to the exhibition – you can never start them too young!

  7. I don’t have that type of money lying around, but if I did I would pay that much for a print. Bowie was (is) a true artist in every sense of the word.

  8. A stunning piece of art, music and history..! The music, lyrics, costumes that David Bowie created were amazing. I love the black and white Archer’s photograph and would love to hang that on my wall. David Bowie Is exhibition will be on my list to visit.

  9. I would love to own a David Bowie print as he is my favourite artist but the prices are sady out of my budget. I wiill just have to settle for going to see them at the V & A Museum.

  10. I’ve always liked David Bowie because he is talented and unique and not afraid to show it. He has always been way ahead of his time in my view!

  11. They are interesting as pictures and pieces of pop history, but I still wouldn’t pay £5,000 for one!

  12. I have already been to the exhibition at the v&a it was brilliant and I am going again Love David Bowie his life and his music and if I was a millionaire I would buy one but sadly I don’t have the Money to.

  13. Well if I am lucky enough to have a small windfall soon I would love to get the Ziggy Stardust Album Cover – absolutely great. A little bit off topic but what with the exhibition, the new album I am wondering if there will be a tour soon?

  14. Stunning artwork but I think I’ll have to settle for digging out the original albums and framing the covers

  15. a wonderful article, I would have loved to have seen this long overdue exhibition. Bowie is such an influential artist, always had the knack of reinventing just at the right time.

  16. Since the majority of his musical works are almost priceless it can be of no surprise that the artwork commands a similar prestige!

  17. Steep prices, but David Bowie is a true and original artist . I remember him well from his Aladdin Sane days .

  18. I saw the exebitions, superbly assembled and i learned a lot. would recommend it to anyone who loves David.

  19. Amazing pictures of David Bowie. Very impressive how they got the dog to appear in the Diamond Dogs promo shot, and no CGI!

  20. I am really impressed at the staying power of David Bowie. He looks great, sounds great – and now my kids are even getting interested in the old songs. He’s a real creative powerhouse and an asset to British music.

  21. This guy was an iconic genius. No wonder why they still talk about him and the things he used to do, there was no one willing to push the boundaries the way that bowie did. :)

  22. Some of the artwork is brilliant, but the ones I’ll treasure are the original with the vinyl still in them

  23. Huge Bowie fan but I don’t think I would spend that amount of money on a print of him even if I had it to spare. Although they are great. :)

  24. As a fan of Bowie, this article naturally drew my attention. I was lucky to obtain a print, which I still have. After reading this I am going to move it to a different, and less sunny wall. :)

  25. Hoping to get to the exhibition, and not becoming too nostalgic. The prints are out of my price range though.

  26. Bowie is an incredible artist, in many media, but I’m surprised these are the five most expensive prints. Looking at other pieces of his artwork – they are even more amazing, but perhaps not so iconic. These prices are definitely out of my budget, but I wish I could go to the exhibition.

  27. Just love the Ziggy Stardust album cover artwork.I must go up to the loft and bring down my vinyl copy…………..

  28. I have been a fan of David Bowie for years, but the price of this artwork is way out of my reach. What a shame

  29. I’ve never been a fan of David Bowie but I do like a good exhibition so I might give it a go. Persuading my sister to go will be another matter all together.

  30. to be honest david bowie doesnt do it for me so if i was ever lucky enough to have that sort of money i would say that no way would i buy one i dont believe in buying just to impress others and wouldnt want them on my wall

  31. Will definitely be going to this exhibition as I’ve always loved his music. Like the prints, but wouldn’t and couldn’t pay that much.

  32. As much as I love David Bowie and these prints are absolutely stunning, i cannot justify spending that amount of money on a print. I would love to go and visit to see this Exhibition.

  33. It’s amazing how much people will spend on a photo/memento of a celebrity… it’s a bit extreme and clearly is only for the very wealthy!

  34. It’s all in the music. Bowie’s music will live on so these artefacts will always be collectible. I think they make good investments and will hold value but they also have an attraction that will always be there

  35. Nope! Wasn’t a fan then, I’m not now, and I certainly wouldn’t spend that much money on one of these prints!

  36. Sadly I’ve been unable to get tickets for the V&A exhibition, however, I did buy a print and as an investment it has more than doubled in value in the short time I have owned it.

    As an image alone, everyone that has seen it so far has been amazed at the quality and the detail of it.

    It is a thing of beauty.

  37. Not sure I would ever spend that money on a print, even if I had more than enough money to. But I love David Bowie and am looking forward to visiting the exhibition at V&A!

  38. I went to the Bowie exhibition 6 times whilst it was on. Absolutely loved it and if I had the funds would have definitely bought one of the limited edition prints – The Archer is my favourite one :)

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