[‘I] don’t give a fuck what anybody thinks of me…. I never wanted to be famous’, were the forthright words of legendary photographer Brian Duffy and a glimpse into the mind of man who was not enticed by glamour or fame but nether-the-less produced some of the most iconic images of the swinging 60s and beyond. Along with David Bailey and Terence Donovan, the ‘terrible three’ shared the responsibility of changing the face of fashion photography, each with their own direct, documentary infused style and unrelenting bolshy British attitude.
Duffy’s work extended beyond fashion, of course, and amongst the many memorable moments he captured throughout his successful career, it is perhaps his striking ‘Aladdin Sane’ album for which he most widely remembered. The flash etched Bowie against a stark white background has become a symbolic seventies image, marking a significant shift in Bowies widely varied career, and elevating Duffy’s work from fashion into the somewhat avant-garde.
Of course, this was not the only album cover the pair worked on, with Lodger and Scary Monsters also part of the bulging Duffy catalogue, all of which can now be enjoyed almost in their entirety (Duffy did burn many of the negatives) at the Foam gallery in Amsterdam. Alongside the wide selection of Bowie imagery there will also be an opportunity to enjoy the BBC documentary The Man Who Shot the 60s, which follows the late photographer in his final year after shunning the camera for almost three decades.
Running from the 20th July until 31st August, Gallery Vassie, in conjunction with Foam, will be revealing a wide range of Duffy photos that will reach far beyond Bowie into fashion and portraiture with more than a smattering of familiar faces such as John Lennon, Jean Shrimpton and Michael Caine, making it an exhibition not to be missed. He may not have wanted any of the glory but when you’re as gifted and gutsy as Duffy, it’s pretty hard not to heap praise.
A visual and cultural feast for the eyes, this latest Foam exhibition is sure to reignite interest in Duffy’s extensive portfolio of work and introduce his photography to whole new generation of enthusiasts. Not that Duffy would care of course, because as he liked to remind us, he didn’t really give a fuck.
Duffy opens at Foam Gallery, Vijzelstraat 78, Amsterdam on 20th July and runs until 31st August 2013