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New York : A Brian Duffy retrospective


Clic Gallery presents Duffy, the first stateside retrospective from legendary fashion/commercial photographer Brian Duffy. By the end of the 1950s, the static and chaste status quo that had come to dominate fashion photography was usurped by a new, freewheeling mode of documentary fashion photography. Fashion bibles like Vogue and Elle, responding to the times, began zeroing in on what was hip, young and "prêt-à-porter" -- replacing the untouchable debutante of the 1950s with the energetic, playful every-girl who would come to exemplify the 1960s. Kinetic, sexy, and cheekily humorous, this new photographic sensibility helped reinvent London as Swinging London and give a visual identity to mod culture. At the forefront of this new wave were three British enfant terribles named David Bailey, Terry Donovan, and Brian Duffy -- all irreverent, working class lads, contemptuous of the norm, who sought to rest the scepter of fashion photography from the grips of so-called 'gentleman' photographers such as Norman Parkinson and Cecil Beaton. The three, dubbed "The Black Trinity" by Parkinson, ushered in a new era where youthful vibrancy trumped old-guard patricianism and fashion photos coursed alive with devil-may-care attitude and guerilla-style candidness. The three inspired a new cult of the cool photographer which culminated in Michelangelo Antonioni's worldwide smash hit Blow-Up about a jaded young fashion photographer working in mod London -- a film still considered an artistic high water mark of the Swinging 60s.

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