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David Bowie Is a Temporary Tattoo

by Mollie Edgar

The palm of a hand faces the camera in front of a white backdrop. Inside the palm of the hand is a blue and white illustration of a half opened mouth.

Illustration by Tobey Albright

© MCA Chicago


The MCA Design, Publishing, and New Media department enjoys any excuse to collaborate with outside artists and illustrators we admire. During our planning for the David Bowie Is exhibition, we were curious to know which phase of Bowie's ever-changing career had been influential to others. We approached a few artists and asked them to contribute. Subject-wise, we left it open to their interpretation. We simply wanted the illustrations to be reflective of the energy captured by the exhibition. These illustrations would take the form of tattoos—an homage to Bowie's own, ever-changing body art. Below are the final tattoos, as well as a few outtakes, in action.

Illustration by Derek Erdman

Illustration by Michael Worful


Artists who contributed also included Katie Chung, Benjamin Niznik, Alex Spaßenberger, and Bryce Wilner.