David Bowie

David Bowie Poster 1995 Montreux Jazz Festival
David Bowie, Montreux Jazz Festival, 2002 © FFJM Lionel Flusin


Claude Nobs entrusted the poster for the 1995 Festival to his friend David Bowie, who had lived in Blonay between 1976 and 1982 in an attempt to escape the American media circus and his own addictions. Although this was the first time a musician had trodden ground previously reserved for visual specialists, in the same year Bowie exhibited paintings and sculptures in a gallery in London, and these paintings were also shown at Montreux during the Festival. But it was using a computer, on an Apple Mac – also a first for the Festival – that Bowie produced this design. The poster originally portrayed the character of Ramona A. Stone, seen in the background. This female doppelgänger appeared in the singer’s mythological universe on Outside, an album released in 1995 on which each track was written from the point of view of a fictional character. At the last minute, Bowie decided to partially cover over the scene with a panel showing the atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima, fifty years earlier. The singer and artist thus combines the creative and destructive aspects of technology in this dystopian design.