We are about at the one year anniversary of the death of David Bowie. As usual he was a trendsetter and vanguard when it came to much, even starting 2016’s awful parade of celebrities dying before we were ready to let them go, but, yeah, a year has gone by.
You know the personas – the Thin White Duke, Ziggy Stardust – but the most iconic visual of Bowie might be that of Aladdin Sane. Technically one of Ziggy’s sub personas, the eponymous album cover – sometimes called the “Mona Lisa of Pop” – was shot by influential UK photographer Brian Duffy.
You can check out the last remaining signed original of the album artwork, and a gallery of lesser-seen prints of the singer, in a new exhibition ‘Bowie by Duffy’, open now through February 5, 2017 at London’s Proud Chelsea Gallery. Even better – admission is free.
Bowie by Duffy also captures a softer side of the icon
This show is a moving insight into the minds of two exceptional creatives who worked together mostly between 1972 – 1980. Oh to have been a fly on the wall of those shoots! Bowie wasn’t his only client ; Brian Duffy is sometimes referred to as “The Man Who Shot the 60s”, and whadya know, there is a well-done BBC documentary with that very title (you can see it on YouTube). As a former fashion photographer, Duffy’s eye for detail and style clicked with image conscious Bowie. He could understand both the quirky persona Bowie was trying to get into the public, and the inherent personal style the singer exuded. Eclectic and influential in creating that chameleon-like image, Duffy worked with the singer over a period of eight years, conducting five photographic shoots that produced some of the world’s most memorable images.
And now for some music
This week is not only the grim anniversary, but would have been David Bowie’s 70th birthday. A further way to scratch that Lazarus itch is to go to one of the many upcoming official and non official tribute concerts – Londoners can check out more for this weekend at The Mascara Bar and for a tribute from Bowie’s own crew at the o2 Brixton Academy; in New York, NYC Terminal 5 on January 10th; the fundraising concert will be at the Wiltern in LA on the 25th and then in Toyko’s Dome City Hall on February 2nd.
Bowie by Duffy at Proud Gallery Chelsea through February 5th (title image: David Bowie with Scottie Dog, 1979, courtesy of Proud Gallery)
More David Bowie from PCB: Pat Francis reviews Nothing has Changed
A former ABC National, Dallas and Atlanta radio personality, Martina O'Boyle is now making movies and covering culture in London, Dublin, and as far in Europe as the cheapie flights will take her, for Pop Culture Beast.