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David Bowie, Cover Alternate, 1969


© Vernon Dewhurst


Ready to ship: 16×16 archival pigment exhibition print presented in a custom gold frame behind an 8-ply museum grade mat.

From the photo session that produced the UK cover of David Bowie’s 1969 eponymous album (featuring ‘Space Oddity’), produced by original photographer and art director Vernon Dewhurst.

“’Come with me and talk to Calvin about my LP sleeve,’ David says one day. ‘I’d like you to shoot the cover.’ David and Calvin have this idea of shooting David’s portrait in front of one of Calvin’s Vasarely prints. Calvin knows a girl in Paris called Betty Catroux, who runs Vasarely’s gallery and has ok’d it with her. I don’t dig the idea at first. It seems a bit unimaginative. Then I think it could be made interesting if David’s head is sort of floating out of the picture. We agree on that.

“At the session I have a clearer idea of how it is going to be done. First, I shoot David on a white background with and without a flaring filter (a bit of glass with a Vaseline smeared circle), then repeat against a black background. David is easy to work with, completely relaxed and obviously enjoying the session. My studio is dark and quiet I play a little mood music. The brilliant blue flash every time I press the shutter, creates ghost-like after images of the people grouped around David. ‘A sun machine!’ he exclaims. It takes the lab a couple of weeks to montage the two pics together, complicated in pre-Photoshop days, but the result pleases everyone.”

– Vernon Dewhurst, from the book David Bowie: Icon .

16×16 archival pigment exhibition print
Includes museum quality 8-ply mat and gold frame

Dimensions indicate paper size.

NOTE: Photographer watermark is for web display purposes only and is not added to the physical print.