July 5, 2011

Leigh Bowery was a genius

Leigh Bowery, according to Wikipedia, was an "Australian performance artist, club promoter, actor, pop star, model and fashion designer." I saw a documentary about him once and fell in love with him. He did things like no one else.

This man was a monumental creative genius. Each night he'd go out to a club, dressed in a new outfit of his own design. He did this every day! And the designs, as you can see from these photos, were startling. He carved out new territory in his final years in a mad, years-long design-a-thon, never stopping, always producing, day after day. He paved the way for many artists and fashion designers who followed, among them Boy George (who copied many of his looks) and Alexander McQueen, who certainly fed off Bowery's attitude.

I think Leigh Bowery was one of the all-time, mainline sources of creativity. Something wild was working its way through this man, and he shared it all with the world, showing them things they'd never seen or imagined. I'm just floored by the images he created. I wish he was still alive today. Dog knows what he'd be doing by now. Alas, he died in 1994, reportedly from AIDS-related causes. An oddly private man when not performing, Bowery reportedly didn't want people to be told of his death. He said, "tell them I've gone pig farming in Bolivia".

He was something. I mean, just look at the large-leg thing. It's brilliant. He wasn't limited by the structure of the human body. He made his own shapes, and they were something to behold. I adore this guy.

One last image. Ain't he great?

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