Published May 03, 2016While the album cover to David Bowie's Blackstar is a simple image of a star, there may be more to artist Jonathan Barnbrook's design than we had originally thought. According to a Reddit user, exposing the vinyl version's sleeve to sunlight reveals a constellation's worth of additional stars.
As the Vinyl Factory points out, Reddit user BoldlyGettingThere explained that a friend had discovered that if you expose the jacket for Blackstar to sunlight, without the vinyl record inside the sleeve, "a starfield appears."
"He said he was away from it for a few hours and was surprised when he got back, so it could have been anywhere between like 1 and 3 [hours] on a very bright day," the user wrote when asked how long it took for the secret art to reveal itself.
Further sleuthing left another user noting that there is a thin piece of paper affixed to the inner sleeve that is "capable of transmitting light." Apparently, the image will disappear and reappear, depending on how much light it is exposed to.
"This is not burn-in or any sort of chemical change at all," user telldrak wrote. "Is it intentional in the design of the album? I'd wager it is, since this thinner paper is not used anywhere else in the cover or liner notes, nor does it seem to serve a purpose in protecting the record, which comes in a thicker translucent plastic sleeve."
Again, to make this work, and to save your record, you need to take out your vinyl copy of the album from the sleeve to get this result. But we're going to say you might want to be careful about this experiment.
Earlier this year, artwork designer Barnbrook had explained that the star symbolized mortality, adding that it "has as a sort of finality, a darkness, a simplicity, which is a representation of the music."
He added: "It's subsided a bit now, but a lot of people said it was a bullshit cover when it came out, that it took five minutes to design. But I think there is a misunderstanding about the simplicity."