there’s secret artwork hidden inside david bowie’s ‘blackstar’ album cover

Fans discovered that the Starman’s seemingly simple final album cover yields more than meets the eye.

by Emily Manning
04 May 2016, 2:50pm

Much breath has been spent on the artistry of David Bowie's music, down to his often provocative, always unexpected album covers. From Aladdin Sane's dramatic makeup and Diamond Dogs' eerie illustrations to Never Let Me Down's rough collages and Tonight's technicolor stained glass, Bowie's album visuals shape shifted as much as the icon himself. So fans were a little puzzled with the stark simplicity of the cover design for Bowie's final album, ★ (Blackstar). But recently, a few diehards lucky enough to get their hands on the super limited edition vinyl discovered that the artwork isn't a black hole; when exposed to bright light, it transforms into a galaxy of glowing stars.

After one Reddit user shared an image of the starry cover, others examined their own records and postulated why the shift is possible. "The paper backing on the reverse side of the starfield print is different from the rest of the packaging," another found. "Rather than using the heavier stock paper, they've used a much thinner paper, which is in fact, capable of transmitting light."

"This was a man who was facing his own mortality," Jonathan Barnbrook — Bowie's longtime graphic design collaborator, who created Blackstar's art — told Dezeen about what's been called his parting gift to the world. "The Blackstar symbol [★], rather than writing 'Blackstar', has as a sort of finality, a darkness, a simplicity, which is a representation of the music."


Text Emily Manning
Image via Reddit user BoldlyGettingThere

david bowie
Album Art
jonathan barnbrook