To celebrate what would have been the singer David Bowie’s 70th birthday and what is now the one year anniversary of his death, Bowie by Duffy opens at Proud Chelsea on 6 January.
The exhibition features photographs of Bowie, taken by Brian Duffy over an eight-year period. The images capture the pop star’s changing personas from the glam rock days of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust to his new romantic-mocking album Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps).
Following his death on 10 January 2016, Bowie left behind an inimitable legacy. His 27 studio albums, recorded over five decades, span several genres. His acting career took in over 40 films and TV series. His ability to attract attention naturally drew that of celebrity photographer Duffy.
In the 1960s, alongside David Bailey and Terrence Donovan, Brian Duffy was one of the first to break the mould of traditional fashion photography. As well as Bowie, Duffy shot the likes of the Beatles, Black Sabbath and Jane Birkin. With his influential position in 60s and 70s pop culture, Duffy was almost as famous as the stars he was shooting.
After shooting Bowie’s Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) in 1980, Duffy moved away from music into more commercial work. Around this time, he even tried to burn his archives but was stopped by a local council worker. It wasn’t until 2006 that Duffy’s son Chris encouraged him to start exhibiting his music photography. By the time the photographer died in 2010, Brian Duffy’s work had been exhibited around the world – his pictures of Bowie being the most popular.