Leigh Bowery (March 26, 1961 in Sunshine in Melbourne, Australia, † 31 December 1994) was an Australian performance artist, fashion designer, nightclub operators, and model. Bowery counted in the 1980s and 1990s the most inspiring people in the London and New York fashion world and nightclub scene. His extravagant and bizarre costumes, called “looks”, influenced many subsequent designers, artists and musicians. Bowery effect on performance art and pop culture extends to the present day.
Bowery was born in Sunshine, a suburb of Melbourne. He himself felt that his homeland as a cultural wasteland in which he was not feeling well. He was a multi talented child. As a teenager he discovered the London New Romantics preferred style for yourself and read magazines such as iD.
After high school he moved to Melbourne in 1980 to London to become a fashion designer. His bizarre outfits, which he “looks” and often called exhibitionism, gender identity resolution performances presented with a mixture of music and dance, quickly made him well known in the London subculture. He retired with the artists Trojan (Guy Barnes) and David Walls, two London scene sizes together, who wore his creations selbstgeschneiderten pitched in the trendy night clubs. Bowery and Trojan were briefly lovers, while Walls left the residential community.
Ignored by the general public first, organized Bowery from the mid-1980s numerous fashion shows, such as the ICA in London, Camden Palace, as well as in New York and Tokyo. He designed costumes and stage outfits inter alia David Bowie, Boy George, The Fall or the Michael Clark Company.
Amidst the conservative Thatcher-era Bowery opened in January 1985, the nightclub Taboo, which addressed an audience polysexuelles. The club was regarded as London’s counterpart to New York’s legendary Studio 54, but moved to a much more extreme audience.
1988 Bowery ill with HIV. In May 1993 he married his longtime girlfriend, Nicola Bateman, a famous nude by Lucian Freud.
Leigh Bowery died New Year’s Eve in 1994 of complications from AIDS at London’s Middlesex Hospital.