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Woodcarving of David Bowie as Aladdin Sane

I like a lot of David Bowie’s music and liked the idea of trying to carve him as he looks in Brian Duffy’s famous photo on the ‘Aladdin Sane‘ album cover. Capturing that well-known androgynous look seemed like an interesting challenge.

​The first attempt was made in 2016. It sat around in my workshop for some years until I was a bit bored with it, so when someone got in contact unexpectedly to ask if the carving was for sale the answer was ‘yes’. That version now lives in the Isle of Man.

carving of David Bowie as Aladdin Sane in a star

After it had gone, the realisation came that I missed having ‘Starman’ around. It’s always fun to take on the challenge of carving a portrait and I had often wondered, when looking at the first version as it stood against the wall in my studio, what it would be like with some colour added.

I also work mainly to commission and so don’t have many of my own carvings in the workshop to show clients and other visitors. A lot of people seemed to warm instantly to the carving of Bowie.

​The second version (shown at the top) was begun in 2020 and worked on intermittently until 2022. It now occupies the same space in the studio that its predecessor did.

I think that the addition of a bit of colour did improve it after all.