Official Press Release / Bowie News
4th March 1996
Young Philippine Artist Wins Bowie “Outside” International Art Competition
Joseph Lee Alviar, 19 year old art student at the University of Santo Tomas, Philippines was elected as the winner of the international “Outside” art competition sponsored by BMG Entertainment International.
The decision was reached on February 20th in Paris with David Bowie, Austrian actionist Hermann Nitsch and Christoph Ruecker, VP International Marketing, BMG Entertainment International as the final jurors. The 11 pieces of art from the winners of the various participating territories were exhibited at the gallery “Le monde de l’art” in Paris, with most of the artists in attendance.
The event took place one day after David Bowie performed live and accepted a Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual “Brits” awards in London, and coincided with the last date of the European leg of the “Outside” world tour.
Given the outstanding quality of all submitted art pieces, it was tough to decide on only one winner. The winning 20″ x 30″ colour painting titled “Destruction Of Man” was picked based on its formal integrity, pictorial intensity, and of course, on the connection with the contents of David Bowie’s latest album “Outside.”
The young artist himself, who, unfortunately was not present in Paris, had described the painting as follows: “The art piece represents the gore of the album’s contents, death and the destruction of man. The crime artist creeps into the inside of his medium, or can we say victim!? By the use of tubes and syringes he extracts life and replaces it with death. With no remorse seen in his eyes, just the excitement of seeing pain and suffering. The new generation of artists acts like gods, not because they create but they destroy.”
In his presentation speech David Bowie acknowledged that the works submitted “are absolutely extraordinary”, and admitted that “…it was very, very hard to come to a decision. But both Hermann and I came to the same choice, which is extremely fortunate.”
Special mention and credit was also given to the art pieces by the winners from South Africa (Elli Garb), Japan (Yasuharu Yoshizaki) and the UK (Charlotte Baker-Wilbraham).
The paintings and sculptures of all eleven finalists are currently on their way to New York where they will be exhibited in front of media and interested gallery owners in the near future.