MacCormack also laughingly debunks the idea that Bowie was the perfect photographic subject: “I’ve got bits and bobs that he doesn’t look great in, so I won’t use them,” he says. Although his stint as a photographer was brief, he loved the imperfect, documentary-style photos that he took. And so did Bowie.
Five years after his death, Bowie’s stature in pop culture only continues to grow. “I always had a repulsive need to be something more than human,” he once noted. The photos left behind, many pushed into the fine art gallery world due to demand, speak to the success of that life-long art project of otherworldly transformation. Looking at his body of work, it’s difficult to figure out where the icon ends and the man begins. As Klinko points out, that’s exactly the point.
“His last album, Blackstar, the whole way it was launched, the way he died a day later, his whole life in a beautiful way was very artistic and orchestrated,” he says. “He was very aware of what he was doing.”
David Bowie: Icon (ACC Art Books) is out now.
And if you liked this story, sign up for the weekly bbc.com features newsletter, called The Essential List. A handpicked selection of stories from BBC Future, Culture, Worklife and Travel, delivered to your inbox every Friday.