Brian Duffy – The Man who Shot the Sixties
Brian Duffy (15 June 1933 – 31 May 2010) was an English photographer and film producer, best remembered for his fashion and portrait photography of the 1960s and 1970s. With fellow photographers; David Bailey and Terence Donovan, Duffy was a key player in Britain’s “Swinging Sixties” – a culture of high fashion and celebrity chic.
Socialising with actors, pop stars, royalty and the notorious gangsters, the Kray twins, they represented a new breed of photographer and found themselves elevated to celebrity status. Duffy commented on the culture shock the three were to the industry: ″Before 1960, a fashion photographer was tall, thin and camp. But we three are different: short, fat and heterosexual!″
Duffy’s relationship w/ David Bowie yielded one of the most iconic photos in pop history – the Alladin Sane lightning bolt cover. He’d go on to shoot 2 other Bowie covers – Lodger and Scary Monsters and Super Creeps.
In 1979 Duffy abruptly gave up photography attempting to burn many of his negatives in his studio yard but fortunately neighbours objected to the acrid smoke, the council were called and much of his work was saved. Although a large number of his images were lost. Duffy moved onto television commercials and in 1983 Duffy directed the music videos for Spandau Ballet, ABC and The Human League. By 1990 Duffy retired from all image making and followed his lifelong passion for furniture restoration and became an accredited BAFRA (British Antique Furniture Restoration Association) restorer. Duffy died on 31 May 2010, after suffering from degenerative lung disease.