Who is the lanky blonde man with a protruding jaw line pictured in this 1980 painting by Derek Boshier? If you're thinking, "Hey, that looks David Bowie playing the lead character in the seminal play, 'The Elephant Man,'" then take a bow. Because you are the world's most precise trivia respondent ever.
David Bowie as the Elephant Man by Derek Boshier, 1980 © Derek Boshier c/o Flowers Gallery
Boshier captured the Thin White Duke in all his glory while Mr. Bowie was rehearsing for his role in Bernard Pomerance's play at Booth Theater thirty years ago. He portrayed Joseph Carey Merrick, a man plagued by severe facial and bodily deformities, a role that required him to contort his body for lengthy moments in the production.
Bowie earned some serious critical acclaim for his depiction of Merrick, and while many of us may have missed the epic performance, at least we have Boshier's portrait to ogle today. The painting is going on view at the National Portrait Gallery in London as part of a larger exhibit titled "Derek Boshier: Imaginary Portraits."