David Bowie Scary Monsters - Natasha Kornilof & Richard Sharah 1980



"He [Sharah] would have a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, grubby make-up kit (he would treat his makeup box just like a palette - he was a bit Jackson Pollock in that respect, there was makeup everywhere)."Sara Raeburn

Taken by Duffy during the last of the Five Sessions with David Bowie in 1980.

By 1980 Duffy was winding down his photographic career. His studio was no longer filled with cameras, lights and famous faces of the era. It was replaced with woodworking tools for his new venture - furniture restoration. Without a studio space or an assistant, Duffy turned to his son Chris for a venue to shoot David Bowie, the only person who could persuade him to get back behind the lens. Much like the Lodger shot little over a year before, Bowie had employed Duffy as a photographer in collaboration with artist Edward Bell who he had previously introduced to David. After the shoot, Duffy took his chosen image to Edward Bell to add his contribution.

Fully expecting Bell to paint directly on to his print; in the end, Duffy's image was almost completely obscured by Bell's painting. Although David loved the cover, Duffy was deeply hurt that his photograph had been despoiled by Bell.

David Bowie With Natasha Korniloff & Richard Sharah

Taken by Duffy during the last of the Five Sessions with David Bowie in 1980. Richard Sharah is seen here applying makeup to David who wanted a "Pierrot" look. Also pictured is Natasha Korniloff who designed and created the costume used for the shoot and then the music video for "Ashes to Ashes." The makeup took one and a half hours to create Bowie's desired look.

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 there. Including Chris Duffy who said of the session – "It was kind of a kooky shoot really, what with three people shooting David and then the record cover ends up as a painting, how mad is that?"

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