Update: Some of our intrepid readers tested this for themselves and found that the “black star” simply needs light in order to glow. So, for those in cloudy climes, never fear—just find something that shines.
We all know the history. On January 8, David Bowie gave us Blackstar. Two days later, he tragically passed away, making the Blackstar release a prescient opus. For several months, Bowie tributes rained down from the cosmos—most notably in a pair of star-studded tributes shows in New York City. As time pressed onward, the tributes slowed, and we began to move on. And that was that, right? Not quite.
Bowie had one last (?) surprise up his sleeve—or, more accurately, in the gatefold sleeve of his final record. One Reddit user has discovered—as FACT notes—that the album art’s eponymous “black star” is not all that it seems. When left in the sun, the black star transforms into a field of glowing stars. Beautiful, right?
The cover art was designed by Jonathan Barnbrook, who also created the artwork for Heathen, Reality, and The Next Day. Barnbrook has previously had to fend off complaints that the art was too simple. “A lot of people said it was a bullshit cover when it came out, that it took five minutes to design,” Barnbrook told design magazine Dezeen. “But I think there is a misunderstanding about the simplicity.” Misunderstanding indeed. That misconstrued “simplicity” makes a lot more sense now, and it adds to the record’s manifold clues to Bowie’s impending death.
Ashes to ashes, funk to funky; Starman returns to the stars, and still, as Bowie implores us to remember, the sun is still shining. If you don’t already have the LP, perhaps it’s time grab one and try this for yourself.
Revisit our tribute to David Bowie:
Image Credit: The Vinyl Factory/Jimmy King