David Bowie – Scary Monsters by Chris Duffy – 1980


Product reference: PR_SM_CD

David Bowie – Scary Monsters by Chris Duffy – 1980

“It was a kooky kind of shoot really, what with three people shooting David and then the record cover ends up as a painting, how mad is that? Well, when you worked with Duffy you never knew what would happen!”Chris Duffy

Taken by Chris Duffy during the last of the Five Sessions Brian Duffy shot 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 by Chris Duffy

Taken by Chris Duffy during the last of the Five Sessions with David Bowie in 1980. At this point, Duffy was retired from commercial photography and was using his son – Chris Duffy’s studio. After the shoot was finish and the makeup was smeared, Duffy suggested Chris take some press shots to make use of the remaining session time.

This rarely seen shot is a perfect example showing how Chris was influenced by “The Black Trinity” of photographers which included his Father but retains his own unique style for a different take on the Scary Monsters scene. First published in the Five Sessions Duffy/Bowie book in 2014.

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.

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

Buying options

Our Standard Archival Quality Pigment Ink Prints are 7.5″x7.5″ in 12″x12″ Mounts which are the same size as a vinyl record sleeve for convenient framing.

All of our prints are supplied with either a Black or White mount.



Product reference: PR_SM_CD