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Mick Rock: Shooting for Stardust

The Rise of David Bowie & Co.

“Mick sees me the way I see myself.”

So spoke David Bowie in May 1972 after viewing the results of his first formal shoot with photographer Mick Rock. The following month Bowie released his groundbreaking album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. With it landed his Stardust alter ego: a glitter-clad, jumpsuited, sexually ambiguous persona who kicked down the boundaries between male and female, straight and gay, fact and fiction into one shifting and sparkling phenomenon of ’70s self-expression. Together, Ziggy the album and Ziggy the stage spectacular propelled the Londoner into worldwide stardom.

After the success of his first photo session, Rock became a key passenger on this glam trip into the stratosphere. Between 1972 and 1973, he worked as Bowie’s official photographer and videographer, immersing himself in the inner circle, and bonding with Bowie both personally and artistically. “I think David trusted me,” reflects Rock. “I regarded myself as a guardian of his image, and that’s true to this day.”

From September 10 – October 30 2015, TASCHEN Gallery presents MICK ROCK: SHOOTING FOR STARDUST. THE RISE OF DAVID BOWIE & CO., coinciding with the launch of the TASCHEN Collector’s Edition The Rise of David Bowie: 1972–1973, limited to 1972 copies, each signed by David Bowie and Mick Rock.

The exhibition presents formal portraits, spectacular stage shots, intimate backstage and on-the-road photos, and many images never before seen in public. The pictures bear witness to Rock’s unique style and unprecedented access to Bowie, while rejoicing in the experimentation and daring of the space-alien postmodern rock star Ziggy Stardust. The exhibition also features Rock’s classic photographs of other 1970s luminaries who crossed creative paths with Bowie, including Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, and Queen.

TASCHEN is also celebrated for its stunning Collector’s Editions. In the other half of the gallery every Collector’s Edition ever made is on display. From Baselitz in 1991 through to our most recent publications with Ai Weiwei, Annie Leibovitz, and the Rolling Stones, these monumental and limited edition books are the crème de la crème of our program. Conceived and curated in direct collaboration with the artists, they represent not only spectacular feats of print publishing, but also art investments in their own right. At once spectacular and intimate, Collector’s Editions offer unprecedented access to an artist’s archival material, portfolio, and personal reflections, and a landmark monument to their vision and oeuvre.

Click here to view the prints on display