This is simply a note of appreciation to David Byrne, who continues to remind me that interesting ideas don’t always require explanation and that great success can occur from the oddest of experiments.
Byrne doesn’t simply make music. He also designs chairs:
And bike racks:
He directs movies:
And creates fine art using Excel Power Point:
He is a photographer:
Record label owner:
And a collaborator with big thinkers like…
And of course, Brian Eno:
If you’re still reading this, a final personal antecdote: Over ten years ago, when I was just starting on my career path and Byrne was fully established in his, I invested (I say invest as I could barely afford rent much less art books) in a book called Strange Ritual by Byrne and the art director Gary Koepke (who went on to found the ad agency Modernista). I was so taken by the book that I sent Byrne a copy of my new zine with a request for him to submit a photo to our next issue. The zine was clearly the work of young and inexperienced people learning as they went, and I didn’t honestly expect a reply. A few weeks later though, he contacted me with a new, original photo essay he had created specifically for the magazine and even went so far as to create oversized beautiful prints of the work as submissions to a gallery show we were curating.
I would assume it was a good feeling, not an conscience analysis, that prompted him to contribute in a way most professional artists would consider a poor career decision or unworthy use of time. I never got the opportunity to properly thank or repay him, but think the best way to do so is to remember the value of paying this philosophy forward: sometimes (not always, but sometimes) it’s OK to stop making sense.