When David Bowie ascended to a higher plane of existence on January 10 of this year, the world exhaled a collective cry of mourning. What followed for most was a nostalgic revisiting of Bowie’s best work, a heightened appreciation for his last work, and just simply coming to terms with a world without Bowie. For NYC-based artist and graphic designer Maia Valenzuela, that process was a creative one.
“When I heard that David Bowie passed away I felt such a profound loss, like losing a friend,” she said, via email. “He had been a huge part of my life growing up, watching Labyrinth as a nine-year-old over and over again, admiring his sense of style and individuality as I grew up, and even in my adulthood, always in awe of his talent as a musician and an artist. I just feel like the least I can do to keep his memory alive is to create posters of all of his songs since he was such an inspiration in my life.” The project serves a practical purpose, too, though. As Valenzuela puts it, “It’s pretty fun to take the lyrics of his songs and create something visual each day, so at least I can put my graphic design skills to good use.”
Valenzuela hopes to create posters for each of Bowie’s songs — a number she estimates to be 352 — and is documenting her work over at Bowie Is Bowie, where she posts a new image almost every day, along with an excerpt of each song’s lyrics. The posters themselves are as bizarre and chaotic as Bowie’s work could sometimes be, though each manages a kind of schizophrenic orderliness.
Valenzuela has given us permission to reprint ten of our favorite works here.
Maia Valenzuela, “As The World Falls Down”
Maia Valenzuela, “China Girl”
Maia Valenzuela, “Fame”
Maia Valenzuela, “Life On Mars”
Maia Valenzuela, “Loving The Alien”
Maia Valenzuela, “Moonage Daydream”
Maia Valenzuela, “Starman”
Maia Valenzuela, “The Laughing Gnome”
Maia Valenzuela, “Wild Is The Wind”
Maia Valenzuela, “You Feel So Lonely You Could Die”