With fellow photographers David Bailey and Terence Donovan, Brian Duffy was a key player in London’s Swinging Sixties, a culture of high fashion, debauchery, and celebrity chic. Socializing with actors, pop stars, and royalty, they represented a new breed of photographer and found themselves elevated to celebrity status. Legendary fashion photographer Norman Parkinson called the Londoners the Black Trinity because the group operated by few rules and broke the rest. Duffy has worked for numerous legendary publications, including Vogue, Glamour Magazine, Esquire, The Observer, and The Sunday Times. Duffy claimed that he did some of his best work working with French Elle. Duffy was also a highly successful commercial advertising photographer shooting award-winning campaign for both Benson & Hedges and Smirnoff in the 1970s.
Brian Duffy spent the period of 1972 through 1980 creating some of the best-known images in his body of work with his subject and creative partner, David Bowie. In 1973, Duffy shot and art directed one of the most recognizable images in pop culture: David Bowie with his eyes closed, face adorned with a rainbow flash of lightning, which graced the cover of Bowie’s sixth album, Aladdin Sane. Duffy’s eldest son, Chris Duffy, reflects on his father’s most famous image of Bowie, “It has become a cultural icon. Several years ago, I started calling it the Mona Lisa of Pop. I think it is quite befitting – there isn’t really an image that is as ubiquitous. It’s been used on fridge magnets, caps, calendars, t-shirts, lighters, beer mats and it is quite extraordinary.”
Shortly after Brian Duffy’s passing in 2010, the BBC commissioned a documentary on Duffy’s life and work. Since then, his work has been exhibited in numerous museums around the world. In 2012, the Victoria and Albert Museum requested use of the original Aladdin Sane record cover dye transfer print for their ‘British Design 1948-2012’ cultural exhibition. In 2013, the Museum approached the archive for use of the newly released ‘Eyes Open’ version as the lead image for the ‘David Bowie is‘ exhibition. The best-selling exhibition has since been on a worldwide tour since its inception at the Museum in 2013 and has travelled to nine venues in countries including Canada, France, Germany, Holland, Australia, Brazil, Japan, and Spain. The V&A has recently announced that it has surpassed 1.5 million visitors to its landmark ‘David Bowie is‘ exhibition, making it the most-visited show in the Museum’s 164-year history.
The value of the signed photographs have significantly increased as The Duffy Archive has sold through the editions. These original, limited-edition works have become an astute investment for fine art collectors. Silver gelatin prints are all personally printed by Chris Duffy who worked as Duffy’s printer and assistant from 1973 to 1980 before launching his own photographic career.
All archival pigment ink prints are printed on archival Fuji Baryte 310 gram paper and are available up to 44x44 inches.
Each limited edition print has an accompanying certificate which describes the print paper and size, the print number and size of the edition. All prints are signed and authenticated on the rear by Chris Duffy.