Christine Keeler (c) Duffy Archive
The new Duffy exhibition at the Idea Generation gallery is the first full retrospective of the career of a fashion maverick. Through his documentary style fashion photography Duffy and his contemporaries; David Bailey and Terence Donovan, helped magazines such as Vogue and Harpers move away from the prim, conservative images of the fifties and this resonated amongst the ‘swinging’ youth of the sixties. Making waves within the industry the three generated the notorious nickname ‘The Black Trinity’. Before 1960, in a period where the photographers, not the models, were the stars Duffy himself noted that until they came along fashion photographers were generally tall, lean and camp. He describes himself, Donovan and Bailey as the short, fat heterosexual exceptions to the rule.
During his career Duffy shot leading film stars, rock royalty and the most beautiful faces of the era working closely with the likes of Jean Shrimpton and Joanna Lumley. He worked for French Elle, The Daily Telegraph, Glamour and Esquire amongst other publications. In 1979, having decided he had got all he could out of the medium of photography he famously burnt a large proportion of his work and negatives. His son painstakingly rediscovered the images in this exhibition through trawling archives and publications around the world.
The exhibition documents an array of Duffy’s most iconic images including the ‘Aladdin Zane’ David Bowie album cover as well as infamous advertising photography for Benson & Hedges and Smirnoff. There is something about standing in front of a full scale iconic image hung on a gallery wall despite having seen it many times before in books that really does grab you. The first ever book devoted to the work of Brian Duffy will be published by ACC Editions this month. The book features Duffy’s own words and an introduction by Philippe Garner and is a definitive visual record of a legendary career.
Bridgette Bardot, Mexico, 1965 (c) Duffy Archive
David Bowie, Aladdin Zane, 1973 (c) Duffy Archive
Black Sabbath, 1973 (c) Duffy Archive
Michael Caine, 1964 (c) Duffy Archive
The exhibition runs from the 8th July – 28th August 2011 at Idea Generation Gallery, www.ideageneration.co.uk
The Duffy book will be published by ACC Editions in July. Duffy: 9781851496570, £45. To order a copy call 01394 389977 or go online at