David Bowie: 50th anniversary of ‘Aladdin Sane’ album to be celebrated in London

David Bowie: 50th anniversary of ‘Aladdin Sane’ album to be celebrated in London

A celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of David Bowie’s album Aladdin Sane will be hosted in London.

The Aladdin Sane: 50 Years exhibition will mark half a century since the 1973 release of the singer’s sixth studio album.

Held at the Southbank Centre, the showcase will run for two months and include artwork from the album, including the well-known lightning flash portrait.

There will also be live music and talks throughout the exhibition.

The exhibition has been curated by Chris Duffy, the son of photographer Brian Duffy who worked with Bowie to create his highly recognisable lightning flash portrait.

“My father’s image of Bowie is often called the Mona Lisa of Pop,” said Duffy about the forthcoming exhibition.

“It’s important to remember it was the result of a short studio shoot using film, which then had to be sent out for commercial processing.”

He continued: “There were no instant digital images or photoshop then. It’s extraordinary how it’s lasted and been endlessly reworked. Wherever I go in the world, it’s always somewhere on a T-shirt.”

The exhibition, which will launch on 6 April at the Royal Festival Hall, will explore Bowie’s continuation of himself – and the influence this had on his fans.

Mural of David Bowie in Brixton (Getty Images)
Mural of David Bowie in Brixton (Getty Images)

On 21 April, a number of artists will perform the album in its entirety to pay tribute to the late singer’s works.

Special performances will come from Anna Calvi, Jake Shears of the Scissor Sisters, Tawiah, Roxanne Tataei and Lynks.

There will also be two club nights held to honour the celebration. One will be hosted by DJ collective Queer House Party and the other by Afro-Caribbean-inspired event Queer Bruk.

Southbank Centre’s artistic director Mark Ball said: “The Aladdin Sane album cover portrait is considered to be one of the most influential pop culture images of the past half-century, and the music remains fresh and contemporary, so we wanted to recognise this major anniversary and reflect on the album and its artwork’s enduring legacy.

"It’s a work that continues to inspire today’s contemporary artists and the gender fluidity of the images still resonates deeply in queer culture in the UK and across the world.”

Tickets for the events are on sale from March 1.

Additional reporting by PA News.