David Bowie - Scary Monsters by Chris Duffy - 1980



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 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 of how Chris was influenced by "The Black Trinity" of photographers that 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.

Scary Monsters & Super Creeps

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.

Open Edition Prints

Our Standard Archival Quality Pigment Ink Print is 7.5″x 5″ (19.05cm x 12.7cm) in 12″x12″ (30.48cm x 30.48cm) Mounts - handmade and printed in the Duffy Archive from the original photographic negatives.

All of our images are ready to frame, supplied with a choice of either a black or white acid-free mount. A mount is a paper-based border around framed images between the frame and the image. The mount adds an extra decorative element and also prevents the image from making contact with the glass. Our Standard Size open edition prints are the same size as a 12" vinyl album sleeve for convenient framing.

As with all our prints, each open edition is embossed with the Duffy Archive stamp. The reverse of each frame has a sticker detailing the history of the session and a hand-stamped logo from Duffy's old camera cases.

Duffy:Bowie Five Sessions (72-80)

The fascinating story behind this timeless session is fully documented in the Duffy Bowie Five Sessions Book told by those who were there.

"Talent hits a target no-one else can hit. Genius hits a target no-one else can see."Arthur Schopenhauer

Limited and Signed editions are available, to discuss options please 

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