David Bowie: Sound + Vision
The first-ever exhibition devoted to the extraordinary career of an icon whose monumental impact on music, video, and style continues to steer pop culture. The project comprised multiple components: a comprehensive retrospective of rare clips, footage, and programming culled from archives around the world, including Bowie's own collection; a two-part gallery display of photographs, storyboards, and conceptual sketches related to his pioneering music videos; an audio sidebar; and a block-long window installation at Saks Fifth Avenue devoted to his pervasive influence on contemporary fashion.
I worked closely with Bowie's office, management, and website team in creating this exhibition over a three-year period. It was by far the most ambitious project I'd taken on up that point. I don't think I fully grasped the scope of it until, about a year in, I met up with legendary photographer Mick Rock in a downtown coffee shop to go over the gallery selects and realized that out of hundreds of singular images I'd to have to winnow the lot down to a dozen or so. The sheer breadth of material, in all media, was exhilarating, if a little intimidating. Because of this, I chose to focus on a pure presentation, free of unnecessary interpretation or thematic clutter.
Sound + Vision opened in New York and Los Angeles in the summer of 2002. It remains the highest-attended exhibition in the Paley Center's history.