A brief update on long-absent David Bowie was buried at the bottom of a long New York Times profile on the rocker’s supermodel wife Iman this weekend. “I’m not thinking of touring,” he said. “I’m comfortable.” The news is hardly a shock — Bowie has been on an unannounced hiatus for the last six years — but his quote to the Times confirms there will be no new Bowie shows in the near future. What’s he been doing with his time? “He draws, paints and collects 20th-century British art,” the Times piece says.
Earlier this decade, Bowie released two strong back-to-back albums (2002’s Heathen and 2003’s Reality) and went on a world tour that many fans considered to be his best in decades. It was cut short, however, when he suffered a heart attack in the summer of 2004. Over the next two years he made surprise appearances onstage with Arcade Fire, Alicia Keys and Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour. In 2006, Bowie announced he was going to stage a full concert at the inaugural High Line Festival in New York, but a few months later he backed out. “Due to ongoing work on a new project, David Bowie has announced that it will not be possible for him to perform,” a statement read. Four years later, there’s been no sign of that “new project.”
Prior to this break, Bowie hadn’t taken more than two-and-a-half years off between albums since he began recording in 1964. It’s now been nearly seven years since he released a single new track. On her Twitter in May 2009, Iman did suggest he’s working on something when asked by a follower if Bowie was recording new music. “He’s cooking up something I’m sure you will love” was her response. A May article published by the AARP noted that Bowie was also working on a new album, but a rep for Bowie denied it to Rolling Stone.