As promised, today’s post is dedicated to Brian Duffy, the genius that created the iconic images of David Bowie (see previous post).
Duffy (1933-2010), was a multi talented, Irish born fashion photographer who attended Central Saint Martins to study painting but then switched to Fashion Design which he majored in for three years. He worked for a number of companies in the industry, including Harper’s Bazaar where he did fashion illustrations and it was during his time there that he discovered his passion for photography. Duffy eventually landed himself a job at Vogue which is where he really developed his talent as a fashion photographer. With the likes of Terence Donavan and David Bailey by his side, Duffy played a pivotal role in the fashion revolution of the sixties, with his quirky portraits of celebrities and models such as Brigitte Bardot, Blondie and Jean Shrimpton.
Duffy began working for Elle magazine, where he got a lucrative contract that also allowed him to travel frequently. He stayed at the magazine till 1979, and had built up a strong portfolio solidifying his place as a top photographer. He also build up a reputation for commercial advertising photography which included commercials for Benson & Hedges and Smirnoff. In 1967, he also set up a production company called Deighton Duffy with one of his close friends and produced the film “Only When I Larf'”(1968), and the musical, “Oh! What A Lovely War'” (1969).
He continued his portraits, and of course his collaboration with David Bowie between 1972-80 was a reminder to the world that he was not to be forgotten, creating some of the most iconic images in pop culture. Eventually Duffy quit photography all together due to health issues however, he was also unhappy with the commerciality of the photographs he was taking.
Unfortunately, Duffy passed away in 2010 due to lung cancer. His earlier works are still majorly admired in the industry due to his mixed aesthetics that challenged the stiffness of the 50s.
Source: Brian Duffy Over the Years