Thursday, November 26, 2015

"DUFFY/BOWIE - Five Sessions" by Kevin Cann and Chris Duffy (ACC Editions)

ISBN: 978-1-85149-765-2 ACC Editions

DUFFY/BOWIE - Five Sessions by Kevin Cann and Chris Duffy

This is a superb book on the David Bowie world, with amazing images by the great British photographer Duffy.   Duffy's son Chris and Bowie historian Kevin Cann have put together a really remarkable book on Duffy's work with Bowie.   Five sessions being early Ziggy portraits, the cover for "Aladdin Sane," photo shoot for "The Man Who Fell To Earth," "Lodger" album cover and the Scary Monster and Super Creeps" album as well. 

Each chapter is devoted to one project, and what we get with that chapter is an oral history from the participants of what and how it happened.  Bowie of course, worked very closely with his graphic artists, and in many ways, all the talent were and treated as equals to present the now iconic Bowie image.  The strongest chapters are on "The Man Who Fell To Earth" film, and which is very insightful in the making of the film, but also gossipy.   Also the making of the "Lodger" album cover is equally fascinating, and oddly enough, not discussed or much written about for some odd reason.  

Duffy, it seemed, was a man of great personality.  Not a push-over by any means.  It seems Bowie had a huge respect for him and his work, and Duffy felt the same way towards Bowie.  The relationship may have hit dark waters during the shoot and design process of "Scary Monsters," but clearly Duffy is one of the main architects of the Bowie icon.  Especially with the "Aladdin Sane" image. 

At first, I thought this would be a good illustrated book on Bowie's specific graphic works, but this goes way beyond that.   This is very much an essential book on the man who fell to earth, as well as a loving tribute to one of Bowie's great photographers.  Truly an essential Bowie volume. 

- Tosh Berman

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