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Masayoshi Sukita2018-09-10T11:11:16+00:00

Project Description

Masayoshi Sukita is a Japanese master photographer best known for his 40+ year collaboration with David Bowie.

Sukita-san’s limited editions are available to purchase in a choice of sizes, and you can view them all through the links on this page.

We have divided this section into three collections: David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Marc Bolan/T.Rex.

Click on a collection to view the available images, prices and sizes.

The Collections

David Bowie

View the David Bowie collection

Iggy Pop

View the Iggy Pop collection

Marc Bolan

View the Marc Bolan collection

Biography

Masayoshi Sukita was born in a small coal-mining town in the north region of Kyushu, Japan, in 1938. His father was killed on the front line in China during World War II. Though he died when he was just seven, Sukita has vivid memories of his father taking photographs. When he was a child, Sukita’s uncle would take him on trips to the cinema, something that would influence him throughout his life. In his teens, Sukita would cycle 100km to see imported American films. Sukita was most inspired by films starring Marlon Brando and James Dean, and those in which he encountered rock ’n’ roll. He credits film and music for teaching him expression in his photography.

After graduating high school, and a further two years at photography school, Sukita assisted an established photographer and entered the photographic division of an advertising agency in Osaka. Then in 1965 he moved to Tokyo, taking fashion photographs and filming TV commercials. He became a freelance photographer in 1970, the same year he married his wife Hiroko.

Sukita-san with Iggy Pop and David Bowie in 1977

Between 1970 and 1971 he visited New York frequently, drawn by its subculture, especially the mix of art, film and music that surrounded Andy Warhol. In New York he took photos of Jimi Hendrix in the months before his death. The music and culture of London also attracted Sukita in the early Seventies, where he would meet and photograph T-Rex’s Marc Bolan. It was in London, in 1972, that Sukita met David Bowie for the first time. 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, and secured 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, began a 40-plus-year collaboration between the two artists.

Sukita was there to welcome Bowie upon 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. The two continue to work together. In April 1977 Sukita took the iconic cover shoot for Bowie’s “Heroes” album. This is perhaps Sukita’s most famous photograph of David Bowie. At the same session, he photographed Iggy Pop, who was in Tokyo with Bowie to promote his album The Idiot, and that relationship has also continued for 40+ years.

In all this time Sukita also famously photographed punks in London and many musicians including David Sylvian, the Yellow Magic Orchestra, as well continuing to work in advertising and fashion photography.

Sukita-san’s limited editions are available to purchase in a choice of sizes.