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.Mashup: Records & Rebels, Bowie, Tattoo Dictionary

The upcoming V&A exhibition “You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 – 1970” is about 1960s and their impact and significance upon life today.

The exhibition explores the changes and the fundamental shift that took place in the mind-set of the Western world, shows the optimistic idealism and questions established power structures in the society at that period of time. It features more than 350 objects that are significant for the generation and that show the revolutionary new ways of living, such as photography, literature, music, film and fashion. The exhibition presents the importance of this revolutionary period of time, the wide-reaching social, cultural and intellectual changes and the connections between people, places, music and movements across the Western world.
Tickets can be purchased here.

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Exhibition Highlights: John Sebastian performing at Woodstock, 1969. © Henry Diltz / Corbis

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Exhibition Highlights: Poster for The Crazy World of Arthur Brown at UFO, 16 and 23 June, by Hapshash and the Coloured Coat, 1967, London (Michael English & Nigel Waymouth). Photograph © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

As the “You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970” exhibition is all about the revolutionary changes in the 1960s, another rebellious character of that time was David Bowie who contributed to the transformations and innovations of that period. Author Paolo Hewitt has written a book called “Bowie: Album by Album” which examines every one of Bowie’s studio albums in fine detail and places it within the context of the time in which is was recorded. It also explains the following social and musical influence of the albums and includes commentary from people who worked on the recordings.

In the following interview, the author Paolo Hewitt talks about his personal relation to Bowie and the idea behind his book:

  1. What is your personal obsession with Bowie and what was your first Bowie moment?
    “Like many others of my generation my love affair with David started on June 6 1972 when he performed Starman on Top Of The Pops and put his arm around Mick Ronson an act that we could not stop talking about the next day at school. My love for him was further strengthened a year later when I tucked my copy of Aladdin Sane under my arm and walked proudly into my Catholic Secondary school. An hour later I was in the Headmaster’s office being given four strokes of the cane for bringing lewd material into school. And a quick mention too for David’s beautiful and dignified rendition of Heroes on the Marc Bolan show in 1977 – to this day it moves me.”
  2. Why look at Bowie album by album? Has this to do with the fact that he could literally move between every type of genre?
    The album by album format was the publisher’s idea but as you point out, serves to expose his mercurial and astonishing talent especially in the 70s when he released an album of great worth every year. Incredible really.”
  3. What is the best album and track for you…got to ask haven’t we?
    “I’ll go Station To Station and Word On A Wing. One of his most beautiful and, therefore, spiritual songs.”
  4. What do you think will his legacy be?
    “His legacy is this – if you are serious about your talent and, more importantly, your chosen art field, then be like Bowie.”

The book is out on the 8th of September 2016 and more information can be found here.

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Also inspired by Bowie, the two new fragrances “XX” and “XY” by “Blood Concept” are paying homage to him and the genderless universe. With the launch of their new scents they explore the bounds of unisex, as they mix masculine and feminine notes in the base.
“XX (Metro Velvet)” contains Rose extract which is seen as the ultimate feminine note and in this fragrance it is combined with a masculine base. The notes include Orange, Saffron, Incense, Immortelle, Lily of the valley, Patchouli, Guaiacum Wood, Styrax and Vanilla.

“XY (Nude Wood)”  is made of Cedar and Vetiver which are two of the most iconic and elegant masculine notes used in perfumes. The other notes consist of Coconut Flowers, Cinnamon, Leather, Tonka Bean, Lily of the Valley, Nagarmotha, Sandalwood, Cedar, Vetiver, Labdanum and Benzoin.

The creators of Blood Concept, Antonio Zuddas and Giovanni Castelli, said that they gave their own interpretation to chromosomes and that Bowie’s artistry created a guide that led them to obtain XX and XY because Bowie represented something more than a simple man or a simple woman.

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Another book that is out on the 8th of September and that is also about some kind of rebellion is “The Tattoo Dictionary”. Tattoos have always been used as a type of communication for cultures all over the world for many thousands of years and are sometimes seen as a rebellious sign. The author and international tattoo journalist Trent Aitken-Smith discovers the hidden meanings behind over 200 popular tattoos and reveals long-forgotten stories on tattoo cultures in his new book.. “The Tattoo Dictionary” is illustrated with over 100 designs to help you choosing your own ink.

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