David Bowie, photographed by Sukita, Heroes cover and a 40 year friendship

Sukita met David Bowie in London in 1972. Before having even heard his music, Sukita saw a striking poster of David Bowie promoting a concert and felt he had to go purely on the strength of the poster. Sukita admired Bowie’s innovative performance style and related to his cinematic influences, leading him to secure a meeting to present his portfolio to Bowie’s former manager. This was no mean feat, considering his English was very limited. The reaction was overwhelmingly positive, and a portrait session with Bowie was arranged. This photo shoot in the summer of 1972 was the start of a 40-year collaboration between the two artists.

Sukita was there to welcome Bowie on his arrival to Japan in 1973, and accompanied him on numerous subsequent visits. Over the years, between press conferences and photo shoots, Sukita and Bowie explored the cities, relaxed with friends, and attended Iggy Pop’s birthday party. In 1977, Sukita took the iconic cover shot for Bowie’s Heroes album, perhaps his most famous photograph of Bowie. Masayoshi Sukita's photo history also famously includes photographing punks in London and many musicians including David Sylvian, the Yellow Magic Orchestra and T-Rex, as well as continuing to work in advertising and fashion photography.

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