David Sylvian (Born David Alan Batt in 1958) is an English musician who has also dabbled in poetry, visual art and photography apart from his short-lived tenure with the New Romantic/Glam Rock band Japan in the late 70's to the early 80's. After a bit of a falling out with his band following some inner tension between members (some of which was reconsiled with a reunion under a different name in 1991 in the form of Rain Tree Crow), he pursued a solo career, which has since gained a respectable cult following. He has been photographed by Anton Corbijn (who also produced some of his music videos), and has collaborated with Ryuichi Sakamoto (more closely in his solo material) and with King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp (their efforts combined produced two albums in the early to mid 90's).
His solo works represent an artistic "evolution" (if you will), as Sylvian proceeded to dispose of the flamboyancy, get a hair cut, and adopt more Baroque, Chamber and Jazz influences that slowly began to resemble the latter-day, sophisticated Art-Pop works of artists like Peter Gabriel or Talk Talk (with a little bit of Avalon-era Roxy Music thrown in for good measure). This is particularly present in 1984's Brilliant Trees; but he took an even more stripped-down approach in 1987's "Secrets of the Beehive", which extracted the electronics from that album and the soundscapey "Gone to Earth", and replaced them with lush string, violin and piano arrangements. After some collaborations and a twelve year (!) wait, he made a comeback in 1999 in the form of "Dead Bees on a Cake", which took a slightly darker, more ambient approach to his classic pop leanings.
David takes a very serious, crafty approach to music, but it's always all-around artsy. He's also known for being a bit of.. a hermit. Don't expect him to come out of hiding unless it's for something important.
* Brilliant Trees (1984)
* Alchemy: An Index of Possibilities (1985)
* Gone to Earth (1986)
* Secrets of the Beehive (1987)
* Dead Bees on a Cake (1999)
* Blemish (2003)
* When Loud Weather Buffeted Naoshima (2007)
* Manafon (2009)
* FascinatingEyebrow: A lot of the time he sports this.
* GrowingTheBeard - David brought some strings and piano in, toned down the androgyny, and started getting all Serious Business about his art.
* OldShame: His attitude towards his early Japan days seems to reflect this.
* PrettyBoy: Early on in his career; though well into the late 80's and 90's he presented himself with a more traditionally "handsome" aesthetic.
* ReclusiveArtist: He's stated in interviews that he has a hard time even just going to the grocery store.
* SurrealMusicVideo: His work with Anton Corbijn.