Exhibition: July 12-September 1, 2012
Reception : July 12, 5:30-7:30pm
Click here to view the BBC special, Duffy: The Man Who Shoot the Sixty's
Click on the image above or link below for Web Gallery
Images in the Exhibition
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Brian Duffy was born to Irish parents in London in 1933. After being introduced to the arts whilst at school, Duffy enrolled at Saint Martins School of
Art in 1950. Having initially signed up to study Painting, Duffy quickly transferred to Dress Design. Graduating in 1953 he immediately began
designing for small British fashion houses and, following this, he was offered a job at Balenciaga in Paris but was unable to take it up.
In 1955 he began freelancing as a fashion artist for Harper’s Bazaar and it was here that he first came into contact with photography. Inspired by the
photographic contact sheets he saw passing through the art director’s desk he decided to pursue photography, landing a job as assistant to the
photographer Adrian Flowers.
In 1957 he was hired by British Vogue where he remained working until 1963. During this period he worked closely with top models of the period,
including Joy Weston, Jennifer Hocking, Paulene Stone and Jean Shrimpton.
Duffy, together with David Bailey and Terence Donovan is recognised as one of the innovators of “documentary” fashion photography, a style which
revolutionized fashion imagery and furthermore the fashion industry. So influential were their images that in 1962 the Sunday Times dubbed Duffy,
Bailey & Donovan the “Terrible Trio” and Norman Parkinson further added to their notoriety by naming them “The Black Trinity”. Together they
dominated the London photographic scene, constantly pushing each other to new heights.
Apart from Vogue, Duffy also worked for publications including Glamour, Esquire, Town Magazine, Queen Magazine as well as The Observer, The
Times, The Daily Telegraph and French Elle.
During the late 50’s, 60’s and 70’s Duffy produced an extraordinary body of work spanning all of the photographic genres from portraits to reportage
to advertising. As well as fashion photography, Duffy was the creative force behind record album sleeve art for three David Bowie album covers,
most notably the iconic Aladdin Sane. He was also successful within the advertising world, one of the few photographers to shoot two Pirelli
calendars in both 1965 and 1973, and shooting high profile campaigns for both Benson & Hedges and Smirnoff in the 1970s.
In 1979 Duffy decided to give up photography, burning many of his negatives, though some were saved from the fire when the council objected to
the smoke. Although a large amount of his images have been lost, the ones that remain stand collectively as a comprehensive visual history of
twenty-five years of British culture and fashion.
In 2009, at the behest of his son, Chris, Duffy resumed work as a photographer and shot images of people he had photographed in the 60s and 70s.
The story of his early career and comeback is documented in a BBC documentary shown in January 2010 titled The Man Who Shot the 60s.
The first ever exhibition of Duffy’s work opened in October 2009 at the Chris Beetles Gallery, London, presenting a small selection of work from
Duffy’s prolific career.
Duffy died on 31 May 2010, after suffering from a degenerative lung disease.