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Famous Like Me > Model > B > Leigh Bowery

Profile of Leigh Bowery on Famous Like Me

Name: Leigh Bowery  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 31st December 1961
Place of Birth:
Profession: Model
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Leigh Bowery (March 26, 1961, Sunshine, near Melbourne – December 31, 1994 London) was an extraordinary homosexual performance artist and designer of outfits that might loosely be called clothes.

Early career

He had a colourful exhibitionist career following his arrival in London in 1980, making a name for himself by dramatic performances of dance, music and simple exhibitionism, while wearing bizarre and very original outfits of his own design. He was frequently seen performing in Taboo, a night club he operated near Leicester Square. A large man, he used his costumes to exaggerate his size and the effects were frequently overpowering for those who encountered him, the more so because of his confrontational style.

In the late 1980s, Bowery collaborated as a dancer with the post-Punk ballet dancer Michael Clark, after having been the costume-designer for a number of years. He also participated in multi-media events like I Am Curious, Orange and the play Hey, Luciani, with Mark E. Smith and The Fall.

He outraged the Longon gay scene with a performance at SMact a short lived SM Night at Bar Industria. Using Nazi costumes with friend lesbian Barbara they turned concentration camp experimentation into SMart. The readers of Capital Gay the London weekly newspaper turned on fellow performer Berkley who had played the victim, Barbara and Leigh weather the storm.

In 1993 Leigh formed Raw Sewage with Sheila Tequila and Stella Stein they preformed in 18" platforms at the Love Ball in Amsterdam, but the colaboration ended in dramas. Leigh went on to appear as "Madame Garbo" in "The Homosexual (or the difficulty of sexpressing oneself)" by Copi at Bagleys Warehouse in London's Kings Cross.


Later 1993 Leigh formed the band Minty with friend and former 80's knitwear designer Richard Torry, Nicola Bateman and Matthew Glammore. Their single "Useless Man" "Boot licking, tit tweeking useless man..." which was remixed by The Grid along with their twisted on stage scatological performances caused The Sun newspaper to describe them as the "Sickist band in the world" Leigh was very proud.

During 1994 Leigh performed the "Fete worse than death" in Hoxton Square, Leigh and Nicola Bateman showed their classic "Birth Show" in which Leigh gives birth to Nicola, using a specually designed harness which holds her upside down to his belly under his costume.

In November 1994 Minty began a two week show at Londons Freedom Cafe, watched by the young Alexander McQueen but it was too much for Westminster City Council who closed the show down after only one night.

He married his long-term female companion Nicola Bateman on 13 may 1994 only months before his death from AIDS-related illness At UC Hospital London on New Years Eve 1994

He became more widely known by appearing in a Post-Modernist/Surrealist series of television and cinema and commercials for the Pepe jeans company.

Bowery was painted in a series of nude portraits by Lucian Freud, and travelled internationally to the opening events of their exhibitions.

Bowery received posthumous exposure in the United States from the Broadway musical, Taboo produced there by Rosie O'Donnell, after running for 16 months in London's West End. Bowery's career is described more straightforwardly in a 2002 documentary The Legend of Leigh Bowery, directed by Charles Atlas.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Leigh Bowery