Saturday, 5 June 2010

RIP Brian Duffy (1933 - 2010)


I was going to attempt a blog that explains the reasons behind the move from my old Wordpress blog to this rather simple looking Blogger layout (and work in some praise for the new Anathema album while I was at it). But the BBC news feed has just informed me of the passing of the Photographer Brian Duffy from Lung disease at the age of 76.

Duffy had not long been thrust back into the public gaze with an exhibition of his unseen works and a BBC documentary that accompanied it. Before that time he'd been one of the first celebrity photographers (along with Terrence Donovan and David Bailey) shooting for vogue, and creating some of the most iconic images of the 60's and 70's including the photographs used for David Bowie's seminal 'Aladdin Sane' album. But in 1979 he walked away from that life and burned many of his negatives.

Duffy's contribution to the way that music, fashion and in fact all types of photography was shot and thought about by his colleagues and his audience was simply immense. Gone were the days of Gentlemen photographers with their large format cameras that captured an image, and instead in their place was a new idea of the photographer as an 'Everyman', but also as an artist (an idea that Duffy himself professed to loathing). The camera became not a tool, but an extension of the photographer, and the final image was the lasting impression of their mind's eye.

I've no doubt that if the east-end born and bred Duffy read such twaddle he would have dismissed it as utter poppycock. But as an unwilling icon that created willing icons he will always be remembered. – a link to the BBC's Brian Duffy slide show and below is a link to his website.

RIP Brian Duffy


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