Unseen portraits of David Bowie by Masayoshi Sukita

A new clearly show and monograph mirror on the job of Japanese photographer Masayoshi Sukita, known for legendary portraits of rock audio royalty, from David Bowie to Iggy Pop and Jimi Hendrix  

Photographer Masayoshi Sukita 1st met David Bowie in London, 1972. Drawn to the swiftly evolving countercultures in the West, Sukita travelled to London and New York to see what all the fuss was about. 

Sukita – who at this position experienced hardly ever heard Bowie’s songs – stumbled on a poster for just one of the musician’s exhibits. Ziggy Stardust had just arrived on the scene, and Sukita felt an instant affinity with his subversive technique and cinematic influences.

Major: Untitled (sporting Kansai Yamamoto costume), RCA Studio, New York, 1973. Above: Untitled, RCA Studio, New York, 1973. © 2021 Masayoshi Sukita Courtesy of ACC Artwork Publications

Although his English was constrained, Sukita managed to secure a assembly with Bowie’s supervisor. He introduced his portfolio, it went down perfectly, and a session was organized for the summer months of 1972. Sukita went on to shoot the deal with for his legendary Heroes album in 1977, and the pair commenced a 40-year collaboration and friendship right up until Bowie died in 2016. 

A new exhibition, ‘Sukita: Rare & Unseen’ seems to be back on the photographer’s amazing job, just one which saw him shoot the wonderful and very good of rock new music royalty. In London, he captured Bowie, Iggy Pop and Marc Bolan (of T. Rex). In New York, he shot the likes of Jimi Hendrix – months prior to the musician’s loss of life – and hung out in Andy Warhol’s Manufacturing facility. 

Prime: Major Jack Celliers in Tokyo, Akasaka Prince Resort, Tokyo, 1983. Earlier mentioned: Untitled, RCA Studio, New York, 1973. © 2021 Masayoshi Sukita. Courtesy of ACC Art Guides

The exhibition features several unpublished performs produced in the course of classes amongst Sukita and Bowie, alongside new perception into legendary masterworks, which usually observed him clad in legendary Kansai Yamamoto clothes. Now, aged 83, Sukita continues to be energetic, capturing the current crop of rising Japanese rock artists, and photographing the streets of his house prefecture of Kyushu. 

The display coincides with the worldwide start of the monograph, Sukita: Eternity, a total-scale retrospective of the photographer’s career which spanned documentary, manner, promoting, movie, and audio, and manufactured some of the most putting visuals of pop songs background. 

As Bowie once summed up the experience of functioning with Masayoshi Sukita: ‘It’s extremely difficult for me to take that Sukita-san has been snapping away at me because 1972, but that really is the circumstance. I suspect that it’s mainly because whenever he’s asked me to do a session, I conjure up in my mind’s eye the sweet, innovative and big-hearted guy who has constantly made these probably monotonous affairs so comfortable and painless. Might he click into eternity.’ §