Globe-trotting David Bowie exhibition draws 1.8 million visitors

David Bowie Is - the show's title keeps the answer ambiguous - presents Bowie not only as a rock pioneer but also as a skilled actor, fashion icon, inquisitive visual artist and even a mime.
David Bowie Is - the show's title keeps the answer ambiguous - presents Bowie not only as a rock pioneer but also as a skilled actor, fashion icon, inquisitive visual artist and even a mime.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - A globe-trotting, crowd-packing exhibition exploring the many sides of David Bowie opens this weekend in its final venue of New York, also the last home of the late rock legend.

David Bowie Is - the show's title keeps the answer ambiguous - presents Bowie not only as a rock pioneer but also as a skilled actor, fashion icon, inquisitive visual artist and even a mime.

The exhibition, which opened five years ago at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, opens on Friday at the Brooklyn Museum where it will close on July 15.

Curators at the Victoria and Albert said the exhibition has drawn nearly 1.8 million visitors in the 11 cities where it has been presented, including Barcelona, Berlin, Chicago, Melbourne, Paris, Tokyo, Toronto and Sao Paulo.

The trajectory of David Bowie Is mirrors the path of the artist himself, who was born in London and settled in the early 1990s in New York, where he died in 2016 from a secret battle with cancer.

The Brooklyn Museum added some 100 objects to the exhibition to reflect Bowie's time in the United States.

They include a clip from his praised Broadway performance in The Elephant Man, collaborative drawings with experimental artist Laurie Anderson and a section on his 1970s soul phase that took him to Philadelphia.

The Brooklyn Museum is dropping its pay-as-you-wish admission for David Bowie Is, requiring timed tickets that start at US$20 (S$26).