I do not wish to be another of the hangers-on over the sad news of David Bowie's death. Like many others, his music has meant the world to me. I even tried to emulate him during his Thin White Duke period, only to realize that I couldn't afford the wardrobe and wasn't hip enough to carry it off, anyway.
Bowie's genius transcended music into the art world. Any news of art on an international level seemed to include him. He collected German Expressionist art and supported the young British artists, or "YBAs," which featured painters Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, among others. It’s doubtful they would have enjoyed mercurial fame without him.
He founded a website for up-and-coming artists called "Bowieart.com," which promoted artists and elevated their notoriety. I was so proud of Wichita's own Linda K. Robinson of Center Gallery and Ginger Rabbits fame when Bowie featured her inspired photographs on that site in 2007.
If you want to remember more than Bowie's genius musical oeuvre, watch his touching portrayal of Andy Warhol in artist Julian Schnabel's 1996 film Basquiat. Only a person truly in touch with the visual arts, and Warhol himself, could have played such a beautiful part.
I shall miss David Bowie greatly. The only way I can truly honor him would be to offer the following advice to art students everywhere: Do not fear change; seek it. Keen work ethic is every bit as important as your talent. Study Picasso, Warhol, and the greatest artistic chameleon of them all--David Bowie.