Aladdin Sane - Eyes Open - 1973

Lead Image of the V&A's 'David Bowie IS' Record Breaking Exhibition

During the Aladdin Sane album cover photo session in 1973, Duffy shot Bowie in the exact same position as the final record cover with his eyes open, revealing his permanently dilated left eye. One of his most recognisable features accidentally gifted to him by lifelong friend George Underwood in 1962 during a fight over a girl.  The Aladdin Sane Eyes Open image was discovered by the Duffy Archive over 30 years later and revealed to the world for use in the record-breaking 'David Bowie IS' V&A exhibition becoming as iconic as the classic album cover in the process. Visited by over 2 million people, the exhibition toured around the world to Canada, Brazil, Germany, the USA, France, Australia, The Netherlands, Japan, Italy, Spain, and America.

Taken by Duffy during the second of Five Sessions with David Bowie – Duffy’s most famous photograph dates from 1973 and is the iconic and revolutionary cover of David Bowie’s album – Aladdin Sane. A shot that became the defining look of Bowie’s long career, and has been referred to as the “Mona Lisa of pop.” Since the discovery and subsequent release in 2010, Aladdin Sane Eyes Open has become equally as iconic, often mistaken by many for the original album cover.

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