David Bowie Gets NYC Subway Tribute

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Photograph from the album cover shoot for Aladdin Sane, 1973. Photograph by Brian Duffy. Photo Duffy © Duffy Archive & The David Bowie Archive

If you happen to ride the New York City subway and think that you’re seeing David Bowie all over the place, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. To coincide with the “David Bowie Is” exhibit currently installed at the Brooklyn Museum, the city is going all out in honoring the late singer, who spent his final years as a resident of NYC.

For starters, the Broadway-Lafayette station, near Bowie’s final New York residence, according to the website BrooklynVegan.com, “has been transformed into a tribute/installation (and an ad for ‘David Bowie Is’) to him. There are more traditional ad-looking pieces, but also some that made use of the station’s architecture, and a replication of the ‘David Bowery’ graffiti’d street sign that popped up. There’s also a giant outdoor ad on Houston [Street] at Broadway above the station.”

The “David Bowery” comment refers to a January 2017 incident, when an anonymous artist climbed a ladder to “adjust” the name of a Bowery street sign to read “David Bowery.”

If you want to see the Bowie art, you can use the David Bowie commemorative MetroCard to get there. The city has also issued a collection of the cards, which subway and riders use to enter train stations. Not surprisingly, private sellers are listing them on eBay.

The artwork at the Broadway-Lafayette station, sponsored by Spotify, “takes the two-billboard real estate on East Houston Street most often purchased by H&M,” according to an article on BoweryBoogie.com. “In the station itself, meanwhile, there is a complete takeover. Vinyl posters affixed to the tiles on mezzanine level highlight various career milestones. His face is everywhere…”

The Bowie tributes follow a similar nod to Prince following the Minneapolis artist’s death.

Related: In 2017, Bowie was honored in the U.K. with a series of stamps

“David Bowie Is,” which will remain at the Brooklyn Museum into July, offers the first large-scale exploration of Bowie’s career, featuring over 300 items from his archives related to the realms of fashion, sound, graphics, theatre, art, film and more. The objects include album covers, videos, drawings, handwritten song lyrics, musical instruments, stage set pieces, costumes and more.

Watch David Bowie’s appearance on The Today Show in NYC


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