I was walking through the V & A museum in London, amazed by the David Bowie retrospective, and admiring the fantastic costumes and imagery chosen from the Bowie private archives when a thin, bare-chested creature with heavy make-up suddenly landed on the floor, as if falling from the ceiling.
- Hey, man, did you fell from Mars?
- As a matter of fact, yes. What about you? Do you live on a farm?
- I like your hair, it’s really cool. Are you a make-up artis ?
- I’m Ziggy, the Martian messiah who played guitar. As Bowie used to say in 1972, “Call me Ziggy, call me Ziggy Stardust!”
- I thought Ziggy had commited Rock n’ Roll Suicide, it’s the last song of the album.
- It was metaphor. Do you realize how influential it was for other musicians, and how much it still is today. Think of Lady Gaga, she wouldn’t exist without us opening the way 40 years from now.
- But Gaga’s music sucks. Your band the Spiders from Mars has the super power of guitar hero Mick Ronson.
- We were called “glitter rockers.”
- I read that you got the name Ziggy after a London tailor’s shop that Bowie spotted from a train. He then joked that it was because Ziggy Stardust was all about clothes.
- Well, yes, and make-up.
- And Stardust came from a strange country singer called “The Legendary Stardust Cowboy.”
- Bowie paid tribute to him by covering one of his song “I Took A Trip On A Gemini Spaceship.”
- I’m amazed by your costumes. There is the Union Jack coat designed by Bowie and Alexander McQueen, and the striped body suit designed by Kansai Yamamoto, which makes Comme des Garçons looking almost conservative. What do you think of Fashion today?
- I don’t know. I went to Uniqlo today, but didn’t find anything I could wear. Everything looks outrageous on me.
- Did you try Prada?
- Oh, I know Prada. We also have Prada stores on Mars.
- You were so advanced for your time, I mean, this androgynous look of yours… how was it to be a bisexual space man on earth in 1972?
- Well, I thought everyone was a bisexual. But more than that, I was a new type of Rock Star. As Bowie said, “I always had a repulsive need to be something more that human.”
- But you are not the real Ziggy?
- The real Ziggy Stardust is an invention.
Dung called me from Art Basel in Miami the other day:
- Hey, Unknown, the book is sold out in the US.
I was rather surprised because my first collection of poems, Found Love letters and Unread Poems from the Trash Room, self-published 35 years ago, is still available
(Interested? Free bicycle delivery in the greater Brooklyn area).
- So, what is August Editions going to do? How about selling my old collected poems instead?
- The poems are interesting, but… uh, maybe another time. Actually, a new edition of a 1000 copies of The Unknown Hipster Diaries is already in the works, it will be available around March next year. And it will have a new picture of you on the cover.
- What about an abstract image? Or a photo of some weed growing freely out of a Bushwick sidewalk?
- Uh… How was the exhibition opening of your illustrations at Colette?
- It was cool, and…yes, Balthus, was there.
- Yes, he is very cute.
- Balthus, like the painter?
- Balthus Billy Zahm, Olivier and Natacha’s baby, don’t you check the Purple Diary everyday? I think it was Balthus first opening, Natacha said so.
- You must be very honored!
- Woody came early, though, needed some sleep.
- Yes, Sarah and Philippe’s baby. He is very cute too. And very well-dressed. Cool socks. What is that loud music behind you? Are you at a party?
- I’m in Kanye West’s car. Baldessari’s driving. In fact, we are going to André’s pop-up Le Baron for Larry Gagosian, Glenn’s D.J.ing, he says hi.
- Could I request a tune?
- What about your book signing at Colette, on Saturday?
- I just bought a stock of blue spray cans.
- You mean, you’re going to graffiti the books?
- Why not? …Well, right, with all the babies, maybe I will borrow their color pencils.
The Unknown Hipster Diaries booksigning at Colette, Saturday 15th December, from 4pm to 6pm.
The Unknown Hipster Diaries exhibition at Colette, 10th December 2102 to 10 January 2013
The Unknown Hipster Diaries, 2nd Edition, will be available March 1st, 2013, from Amazon and selected bookstores in the U.S.
I was eating a burger and writing poetry at the Old Town Bar when my friend Dung, who works nearby in publishing came in, returning as always from his travels to Europe, where he hops from Biennales to design fairs, meeting famous designers and fashion celebrities, and private visits to architecture gems such Oscar Niemeyer’s French Communist Party Headquarters in Paris.
- Hey Unknown, I think the time has come for you to do a book.
- Really? I’d rather do a record. My Unknown Suite for voice and electrified tambourine is almost ready. Do you want to listen to the demo tape? It’s only 120 minutes long.
- Hmm, I’m sure the music is great, but right now I think a book is more appropriate. And a new publishing house, August Editions, wants to publish it.
- Well… You see, I don’t want my stuff to become too commercial.
- We’re would do a limited edition of only 1,000 numbered copies.
- What would be the title?
- How about The Unknown Hipster Diaries?
- Shouldn’t it just be called The Unknown Diaries? People hate hipsters, especially other hipsters. At my Bushwick subway station somebody wrote over a Planned Change Service Notice at the end of the platform: “F*** the hipsters, they ruined Brooklyn,” and it’s illustrated with a crude drawing of a dude with beard and frames.
- But, Unknown, you’re not really a hipster…
- No, in fact, I never was.
- Of course. Still, I think we should keep the title The Unknown Hipster Diaries.
- It’s not a bad title. But… what about the record?
Available at very selected bookstores November 2012
Distributed in the US by RAM Publications + Distributions
Distributed in France by OFR