Brian Duffy's

Brian Duffy's "David Bowie"

This past year we lost Brian Duffy, one of the photographers who defined the look of the "Swinging Sixties" in London.
Duffy, along with David Bailey and Terence Donovan, known collectively as the "Terrible Trio" or the "Black Trinity," shook up the photography scene by shooting fashion and portraiture in a more playful, documentary style.
One of his former models, Jan de Villeneuve recalls a story about her first encounter with Duffy:
"One story I do like concerns meeting Duffy on the first day of "go-sees" (now called "castings") that Models 1 sent me on when I was to spend the summer of 1970 in London. By then I had worked a lot with Norman Parkinson, David Bailey, Helmut Newton, even Guy Bourdin, to name a few, so I did have a pretty decent portfolio, after about three years modeling between New York & Europe, with quite a bit done for British Vogue, including a cover by Bailey.

Duffy carefully looked through my whole portfolio, hardly making a comment, and then said there was only one photograph he really liked. I carried on that day, seeing about ten other photographers, most of whom seemed impressed by the work I had done. When I got to the studio of Barry Lategan, a photographer I very much admired who was working a lot for British and Italian Vogue, he raved about nearly every picture and then solemnly said to me, "Jan, there's just one photo you should take out of your book. It does you no favors." Of course, it was the only one Duffy had liked. It was a good lesson to me about modeling - how you cannot please everyone - and also a comment on Duffy's nature, as quite an individual thinker & photographer who followed his own agenda."
In addition to six years spent shooting for Vogue, Duffy freelanced for other magazines like Glamour, Esquire and The Times in London. He shot two Pirelli calendars as well as several successful ad campaigns for Smirnoff and Benson & Hedges. Duffy photographed some of the most well known personalities of the sixties and seventies including Jane Birkin, Sidney Poitier, Sammy Davis Jr., Michael Caine and John Lennon as well as album covers like "Aladdin Sane" for David Bowie.
In 1979, Duffy decided to opt out of the photographic industry and as a first step, attempted to burn his negatives. Fortunately, most of his archive was saved when a neighbor complained about the smoke and the burning was called off. Duffy spent the next thirty years restoring furniture and didn't pick up a camera again until just before he passed away when he started to shoot again.

Your chance to take home Brian Duffy's "David Bowie" (above) is next Tuesday night at Real or Surreal... hope to see you there!

Real or Surreal Photography and Illustration Benefit Auction
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
MILK Gallery
450 West 15th Street, New York City

Silent Auction:  6:00PM - 8:00PM
Live Auction:  8:30PM

Auctioneer: Rick Wester
Rick Wester Fine Art

Please join us for cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and lively bidding.

Admission: $35 at the door, cash or credit (AMEX, MC, VISA)

Full online preview available here.

SPD is an advocate for our members' role as journalists and partners in the editorial process, and fosters new generations of editorial expertise through educational outreach and scholarship opportunities. Proceeds benefit these initiatives and expand our influence.

Auction Chairs: Gail Anderson, Illustration, and Jennifer Pastore, Photography

Auction Board: Gail Bichler, Mary Cahill, Laurie Kratochvil, Don Morris

Auction Advisory Committee: Stacey Baker, Christina Cahill, Alina Grossman, Hilary Greenbaum, Eddie Guy, Leo Jung, Kira Pollack, Leslie Simitch, Amanda Spielman, Dora Somosi, Casey Tierney, Siung Tjia, Michael Walsh

RELATED: Save the Date! Real or Surreal Benefit Auction, Tuesday, November 16th
RELATED: Herb Ritts' "Eona Holding a Zebra Skull"
RELATED: Paula Scher's "India"

blog comments powered by Disqus