Craftwerk: The 10 Weirdest David Bowie Crafts On The Web

Craftwerk: The 10 Weirdest David Bowie Crafts On The Web

Consider the following proposition: even if David Bowie — genius author of countless classic songs — had never issued a single piece of music, his status as a cultural icon and legend would remain secure simply on the basis of his astounding contributions to the world of fashion. Who else could make that claim? Elvis, the Beatles, the Stones, the Clash, the Replacements, and the Smiths all authored indelible, much-imitated fashion statements. Once. How many times has David Bowie managed the same feat? Seven? A hundred? It’s difficult to keep count, but the following facts we know to be true: He had Johnny Rotten’s haircut seven years early on the cover of the “Space Oddity” single in 1969. The created-from-whole-cloth character Ziggy Stardust represents one of the few utterly persuasive attempts to weld rock and roll and music theater, a gesture so audacious that its co-mingling of the alien, the aggressively pan-sexual, and the profoundly endearing still feels like an edgy outlier 40 years after the fact. Aladdin Sane and Diamond Dogs cemented his status as the archduke of glam, but soon he had moved on with stunning dexterity and detail to other preoccupations and personas. His circa-Young Americans take on blue-eyed soul predated and anticipated great acts like Squeeze and Joe Jackson. The foreboding and cold figure he cut while rendering the so called “Berlin Trilogy” of Lodger, Low, and Heroes is perhaps his most menacing creation ever — turning a kind of Teutonic roboticism into something frightening and seductive. The Berlin period was one of such artistic brilliance and commercial non-conformity that it seemed a reasonable assumption that Bowie had forever back-burnered any ambition to be a mainstream superstar in the United States. That assumption was emphatically disproved, as the Thin White Duke reinvented himself yet again for the commercial smash “Let’s Dance” — sacrificing exactly zero integrity as he successfully remade himself as the ultimate in British cosmopolitan cool, on an album that delivered hit after timeless hit with apparent shrugging ease. And so it goes. Just as we’ve never before had anyone in the tradition who so fully grasps the relationship between sound and vision, there is little surprise that the man has inspired countless craftsfolks to chase their own id in unique, compelling, and occasionally alarming places. On that note, here is a list of the best Bowie-inspired items available to YOU (yes you) on the Internet.

Start the craft-down here.

9. Huge David Bowie Mugshot Banner:

In March 1976, David Bowie and Iggy Pop were arrested and charged with felony pot possession in Rochester, NY. To the average listener, this might seem like nothing to commemorate, but to this enterprising individual, well, the occasion is rendered on a poster that is roughly the size of the hood of his car. For all of us who have ever had mugshots taken, you don't dream about having them repurposed as wallpaper. Having said that, in the way only Bowie can manage, goddamn if he doesn't still look pretty cool here.

8. "Space Oddity" Children's Book:

As reported by the good folks at MAKE, visual artist Andrew Kolb was so moved by 1969's "Space Oddity" that he was driven beyond himself to commit the spirit and message of the song to paper in the form of a children's book. The result is an adorable, if not a little harrowing illustration of poor Major Tom's ill-fated journey. Probably not the right choice for all kids across the board, but likely useful for the occasional precocious moppet with a profound fixation on existential dread. Hey, at least Kolb didn't try to illustrate "Ashes To Ashes."

7. David Bowie 8-track USB Hub:

Oh my god. Someone has retrofitted a Young Americans 8-track with the capacity to charge your sundry computers, tablets, phones, and mp3 players while still enjoying the cover photo of Young Americans. Unclear why this was a good idea, but still on some level it feels like a great idea. Between the unalloyed fandom and technological ingenuity, this bit of nostalgic tinkering can scarcely be allowed to go unnoticed.

6. David Bowie Soap:

There are actually a handful of people making David Bowie soap and selling it on the internet. Repeat: There are actually A LOT of people making Bowie soap and selling it on the internet. We chose this ambitious soapmaker, as she provides a veritable Chinese menu of scent and restorative options, all drawn from this kind of rare (or at least very strange) Glass Spider-era photo of Bowie. Philosophically, the notion of "David Bowie as soap" also presents an interesting dilemma for us: We can see rubbing him all over our bodies, and maybe that would get us clean, but could we stand to see him wearing away?

5. Aladdin Sane Tooth:

There's no shortage of awesome early-'70s Ziggy Stardust/Aladdin Sane crafts on the internet, and rightly so -- the Aladdin Sane cover is one of the most iconic of its age. In fact, we probably could have done a list that consisted entirely of Ziggy Stardust/Aladdin Sane-inspired notions. But the thing is, this is a tooth. Why? Why a tooth? Is this Bowie fanatic a dentist? A dual enthusiast of both glam rock and orthodontics? Or merely dissociative? Regardless, this brooch wins on a couple of levels: It's super cute, it would jazz up any winter coat, and it's a persuasive reminder to keep on brushing, just in case you end up in a situation this.

3. Bowie As Jesus Portrait:

As John Lennon aptly demonstrated, comparing oneself to Jesus is generally ill advised. That stated, who could take issue the remarkably true-to-life rendering of Bowie as messiah? Is it sacrilegious? 100%. Does it also inspire us with weird kind of snake-handling, speaking-in-tongues spiritual fervor? We are not saying no. At the end of the day, shouldn't we all worship as we please? We've got five years folks!! THE EARTH IS REALLY DYING!!!

2. Bowie As Jareth From Labyrinth Bust:

The 1986 Hollywood feature Labyrinth may not have resulted in a great deal of box office, but what it lacked in popular appeal in the short-term has been more than offset by the frankly disturbing amount of fanfic, which continues to emerge from late-coming consumers. This clay-rendered bust of Bowie's villainous character Jareth is testament to the movie's long-running appeal. Also the item's surpassing resemblance to the sculpture of Lionel Richie from the seminal and best-forgotten "Hello" video can be taken a number of ways. But for the sake of equanimity, let's not think about all that.

1. '70s-Era Bowie Knit Costume:

OK, let's start with the downsides. You can't wear this to work. Probably you can't even wear it to the store or the bank. It looks like it might be pretty difficult to put on, and possibly dangerous to remove. Having said that, you absolutely want to have this Spiders From Mars-style wool knit full body sweater hanging in your closet. You want it, and more than that, now that we know it exists you can't afford NOT to have it. No sane person would potentially cede the advantage to their enemies by allowing them to show up wearing this when you are stuck in your everyday dishwater dull khakis and button-down. Like so much about Bowie, this is not about pragmatism. This is about the ability to bring the world to its knees through sheer audacity. To the ingenious individual who rendered this -- hot tramp, we love you so!

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