David Bowie's 40 years of music video innovation received the Museum of Modern Art treatment last night in New York. The world famous museum paid tribute to the Thin White Duke with an evening of clips selected by Thurston Moore and museum curator Barbara London from the back catalog of videos the Bowie Estate gifted to MoMA earlier this year. The Sonic Youth main man also gave a short introduction in his typically dry hipster drawl, fondly remembering his conversion to the Bowie army in the 1970s and recounting how "rock bozos" at his high school would threaten him for having magazines with pictures of the androgynous Ziggy Stardust in them.
The 15 clips spanned the good, bad and ugly of Bowie's visual adventures, from the groundbreaking Mick Rock-directed shorts accompanying "The Jean Genie" and "John, I'm Only Dancing" to the cringe-worthy Labyrinth tie-in "As the World Falls Down" and "China Girl," which features Bowie cheerily making the kind of slant-eyed gesture that would make Bill O'Reilly wince. Although there was no sign of the man of the hour, producer Tony Visconti made an appearance, as did Mick Rock, and fellow Bowie video directors Mark Romanek and Sam Bayer.