Markus Klinko: Bowie Unseen

Addicted Art Gallery
5 min readDec 7, 2022

In 2001, award-winning international fashion / celebrity photographer Markus Klinko spent 8 hours in his New York studio with David Bowie shooting images for David’s “Heathen” album cover.

On the strength of this body of work, Markus was asked in 2002 to create the cover image for GQ’s “Man of the Year” issue honouring David. The resulting image shows the rock star fearlessly posing with a pack of wild wolves.

The images from the sessions have been released as the “Bowie Unseen” series.

Bowie”, 2001

“When photographing an artist, I always desire to create a work that truly defines them and can serve as a milestone in pop culture history. Those are ambitious and lofty goals, but it is what I am thinking about when I pick up my camera.” ~ Markus Klinko

Markus met David Bowie just days before 9/11, at his New York studio, where David attended an editing session to help select images for his wife Iman. The legendary super model had hired Markus to create the cover for her book “I AM IMAN”. A few minutes into the session, David turned to Markus, and offered him to shoot the cover art of his upcoming album, “Heathen”.

The tragic events of 9/11 delayed the scheduling of the shoot for “Heathen”, but David stayed true to his word, and the shoot took place on October 10th, 2001.

While the album photographs quickly attracted the attention of such artists as Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga, these works also helped launch Markus’ illustrious fine art career.


David Bowie, Heathen”, 2001

This moving shot of David Bowie is from Markus’ photo session for the cover of “Heathen”, released in 2002. When asked about why David wanted to be shot as a blind man Markus explained:

“It was his [David’s] idea. What he tried to bring across with this artwork was a man who lost belief, a man who no longer believes in the rules of religion, politics, all of that. His blind eyes represent his loss of belief, no longer being on track with what you’re supposed to believe.

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