David Bowie Lodger Alternative Album Cover

“I knew Duffy’s work of course. Of all the ’60s photographers – who were all very good – for me what Duffy did was to be more creative. He didn’t just capture the moment – he invented the moment. I found him the most inventive of all those photographers. That’s what interested me.” – Derek Boshier

Taken by Duffy during the fourth of the Five Sessions with David Bowie in 1979 for his thirteenth studio album and final album of the Berlin trilogy. The cover art was a collaboration between Duffy and Bowie with Derek Boshier tying the project together graphically.

This image was Duffy's take on the Lodger scene which was originally intended for the album cover. Shooting from the rafters of his London studio, Duffy photographed David who was suspended on a custom built metal frame. Bowie's face was then manipulated by fishing line to enhance the look of the falling man. Lastly, a jet of water was shot into the bathroom sink which further changes the perspective. Until the full release of the behind the scenes imagery in the Five Sessions book the image and how it was created remained a mystery to many.

During the development process, Duffy experimented with chemicals to distress the images from the session which created the effect around the edges of the frame. The clarity and warmth of the Kodachrome outtakes show all the minor details of the intricate scene that Duffy created. However, at the last minute, David decided to use a cropped version of Duffy's test Polaroid for the album cover instead. Duffy’s Experimental sink and one of the Lodger Set images were also included in the album’s gatefold. David’s bandaged hand was actually the result of a coffee burn, though perfectly suited to the dramatic imagery adding another element to Duffy's scene.

The Whole Story

The fascinating story behind this timeless session is fully documented in the Duffy Bowie Five Sessions Book told by those who were involved including Derek Boshier, makeup artist Sara Raeburn and Hairdresser Martin Samuel.

Limited and Signed editions are available, to discuss options please Contact Us.

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