The musician and artist David Bowie left a lasting mark on pop culture with his style and was able to change people’s lives like no other. With songs like “Starman” or “Space Oddity” he wrote himself forever in our musical memory. His works were closely linked to his personal biography. María Hesse and Fran Ruiz succeed in capturing this aura and uniqueness of David Bowie. A visual and emotional treat that celebrates the life of a consummate artist. (Source: Heyne Hardcore/Amazon)

A picture book – for adults. One would almost think so when opening the latest work by the two Spaniards Maria Hesse and Fran Ruiz. It is not the first biography about David Bowie … but certainly the most original. Spanish illustrator Maria Hesse has already attracted attention with her work on Frida Kahlo. Her colourful, naive and sometimes childish pictures tell the story of one of the most dazzling musicians the world has ever seen. The accompanying texts, penned by Fran Ruiz, tell the story of David Bowie in the first person. The true facts of the Starman with a wink provided, let you dive into the world of Ziggy Stardust. Starting with his childhood and youth over the beginnings. The fruitful time with Iggy Pop in the Berlin of the cold seventies, through the commercial 80s to his farewell gift – the album Dark Star.

Bowie was a chameleon of music. Always reinventing and disguising and always unmasking and reinventing himself. A fascinating personality wonderfully described in the words of Fran Ruiz. The colorful images and illustrations by Maria Hesse exude a peculiar magic that makes you smile quietly from time to time.

A fairy tale picture book for young at heart adults who have grown up with the music of the Thin White Duke. A somewhat different biography, which you have effortlessly in a good hour through, and you still miss nothing, because everything is told accurately, despite the few lines for this legendary musician and his multifaceted career. A special idea with a very nice implementation.

4,5 / 5

Maria Hesse & Fran Ruiz – Bowie – An Illustrated Life
Heyne Hardcore, 2020
168 pages