Monday, June 13, 2011

Retrospective Exhibition of Iconic British Photographer Duffy in Australia for the First Time

Ballarat International Foto Biennale (BIFB) presents a retrospective exhibition of photographs by iconic English photographer Brian Duffy to be exhibited at BIFB’11 from August 20-September 18. Duffy was known as one of the “terrible three” or “the black trilogy” and defined the image of the 1960s along with fellow celebrated British photographers Terence Donovan and David Bailey.

“There is an actual pleasure in making someone look beautiful” mused Duffy. Working at a time when Britain defined cool and the photographers, not the models, were the stars, Duffy’s photographs cover the gamut of themes from fashion and celebrity to advertising. Along with his contemporaries, Duffy’s photographs heralded a new era, breathing new life into commercial photography and magazines in 1960s conservative Britain, making the images come alive. Bailey, Donovan and Duffy, three working-class photographers, stirred up the industry with little regard for the pretensions of the old guard. Duffy himself said at the time that, “Before 1960 a fashion photographer was tall, thin and camp. But we three are different: short, fat and heterosexual.”

After originally studying painting and dress design in London, and after declining a job from the House of Balenciaga in Paris, Duffy chose to make the transition to photography, “a darn sight easier then drawing” he said. Duffy went on to work for publications including British Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire and French Elle. Alongside his fashion photography, Duffy’s advertising and celebrity photographs will also be exhibited, including the iconic “Aladdin Sane” image of David Bowie as well as images of Michael Caine, John Lennon, Black Sabbath and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In 1979, inclined to drama, Duffy decided that he had; “nothing more to say in photographs. I’d taken all the snaps I’d needed to take,” and burnt the majority of his negatives. Prior to this Duffy eschewed holding an exhibition, conceding, “I’d never thought of it, never wanted it. I just thought a photograph was almost immediate and for immediate use. The next day the whole thing of wrapping your fish and chips in it.” Only recently, through the work of his son, Chris, are Duffy’s photographs being exhibited and BIFB is proud to present the first ever exhibition of the photographs of Brian Duffy in Australia.

Ballarat International Foto Biennale
BIFB ( aims to promote photography in all its forms, to educate, inspire and question by presenting photography from the world to Australia and from Australia to the world.

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