Spotify has transformed a New York Subway station with a large-scale photographic installation and interactive displays celebrating the late, great David Bowie.
Bowie was born in London but lived in New York for over 20 years. The installation at the Broadway / Lafayette Subway station in NoHo celebrates his fondness for the city and his links with the local area. (He lived nearby and recorded music at local studios as well as performing at Carnegie Hall.)
The centrepiece of the takeover is an installation created by Italian studio Truly Design. The installation stretches across 30 metal ‘L beams’ and can be seen at either end of the station from steps leading down to the platform. It features black-and-white photographs of Bowie as the Thin White Duke – a persona he adopted in the mid 1970s – taken by Masayoshi Sukita and Markus Klinko.
Spotify has also installed fan art, a map of Bowie’s neighbourhood and photographs of the musician around the station. These are displayed alongside orange banners that read ‘David Bowie is Here’ and information cards that highlight his affection for New York. Each card features a quote from Bowie – one focuses on his love of walking and quotes an interview with the New Yorker, where he cited Washington Square Gardens as one of his favourite spots for a stroll.
Each display is accompanied by a code linking to a different Spotify playlist. Spotify has also created limited edition Metro cards (available to purchase at the station) with images of Bowie as Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane and the Thin White Duke.
The installation was unveiled earlier this month and runs until May 13. It coincides with the opening of Bowie Is – an exhibition celebrating the musician’s contribution to popular culture – at the Brooklyn Museum.
The exhibition debuted at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 2013 and is on display at the Brooklyn Museum until July 15. It features over 400 objects, including costumes, handwritten lyrics sheets and album art.
Alongside the installation, Spotify has created a podcast series titled David Bowie Stories. The series was created using its ‘Spotlight’ feature – a tool for creating podcasts with visual elements – and promises “an even deeper look into the life of the musical icon”, with “tall tales, origin stories, making of’s, mini essays and more”. It will also feature photos and videos from the David Bowie Archive. The series will be available through the Spotify app.
Bowie Is is on display at the Brooklyn Museum until July 15. See brooklynmuseum.org for details.