Get to know the Artwork: A Klaus Nomi Tribute

Once again this year, we are delighted to present the creative artwork of talented artist Marion Habringer. If you are now asking yourself “Wait a minute, the bow tie on the TEDDY and the pattern on the poster look familiar to me”, then you are exactly right. This year’s design for the 38th TEDDY AWARD is all about “Klaus Nomi”, who would have been 80 years old this year.

If the name doesn’t bring back any memories, here is an introduction to the unique German countertenor, performance artist and pioneer of the new wave music scene. Born on January 24, 1944 in Immenstadt, he studied opera singing in Germany before emigrating to the USA in the 1970s, where he developed his unmistakable performance style.

However, Nomi did not remain undiscovered for long. When he performed as a backing singer for none other than David Bowie, Klaus Nomi captivated audiences not only with his voice, but also with his extravagant stage outfits and theatrical presence. His performances blurred stereotypical gender roles, influencing the work of subsequent artists. The large, triangular bow tie, which this year’s TEDDY is also wearing, has become his trademark.

His self-titled debut album, released in 1981, underlines his multifaceted artistic identity. Nomi’s music incorporates a wide range of genres such as pop, new wave and electronic music, in which he has incorporated interpretations of classical pieces such as “The Cold Song” by Henry Purcell.

Klaus Nomi died at the age of just 39 as a result of his AIDS-infection. Even after his death, many influences can still be found, especially in the music of the 1970s and 1980s. He had a particular influence on the avant-garde pop, new wave, and electronic music scenes, as well as performance art.

We commemorate Klaus Nomi and his important work for the queer community.