Brooklyn Museum shows Bowie's legacy to New York City

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Sandy Kenyon reports on the new exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum dedicated to rock legend David Bowie.

David Bowie was a pioneer whose contributions were not limited to just music. He was a rock god, but also an artist; an androgynous star with a lifelong interest in many forms of art besides rock and roll.

Now, an incredible new exhibit has opened at the Brooklyn Museum designed to offer an extraordinary look at a career that spanned five decades and influenced so many. The title "David Bowie Is" allows visitors to fill in the blank and define for themselves the late star's legacy.

"He was always looking for a way to do something different," said Matthew Yokobosky, the Coordinating Curator who was in charge of the exhibit. "He just kept changing, and as a fan you, had to keep changing with him. So I liked that he kept opening up my ears to new sounds. Bowie rewrote the book of rock and roll, how to be a rock and roll performer. You didn't have to go out and be the same persona for a decade or two decades."

Yokobosky, who is also Director of Exhibition Design at the museum, brought the exhibit to Brooklyn from London, the city Bowie called home. He died there in 2016.

The exhibit is designed as an "immersive experience," hence the high-quality Sennheiser headphones playing the best of Bowie. As visitors move from room to room, the music changes. So the result is a continuous soundtrack that enhances all that's on view.

Starting with his earliest days, the rocker's various personas are revealed through artwork, costumes and videos while his handwritten lyrics offer insight into how he was able to sell 140 million albums.

"You see him going through change after change, and it kept him relevant for the American public," Yokobosky said.

Bowie was born David Robert Jones. Early in his career, the young man borrowed the name of 19th-century American pioneer James Bowie, best known today as the inventor of the Bowie knife.

David Bowie "was working well ahead of the pack," said one man who knew him well, and he stayed ahead right until the very end.

"I want people to leave the exhibition feeling that they can explore and try new things," Yokobosky said.

The exhibit remains at the Brooklyn Museum through July 15. CLICK HERE for more information.

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