Hey All, I am sure you have all read in publications or on social media how the Bowie exhibition at the V&A was ‘the’ must-visit exhibit of the summer. If like me you sadly missed it in London you can still catch some of the best of Bowie at the & Foam until October.
I was lucky enough to sit down with Addie Vassie the Curator of the & Foam exhibition and owner of Gallery Vassie which is located close to Central Station in the historic heart of Amsterdam. You may not know this about me but, having been in the corporate world for most of my career my creative escape was being able to indulge in photography exhibitions. Its my favourite art medium so, this was a real treat for me.
Talking with Addie, was a great education in photography and especially that of Brian Duffy who of course was one of the pioneers of modern day Fashion photography. Addie, has been living in Amsterdam on and off with a stint in USA for over 10 years. After graduating at University Addie’s CV is a glimpse into working at the best photography galleries having been Curator at V&A and the Photography Gallery in London. Since moving to Amsterdam she continued working within the best photography spaces such as Huis Marseille and Foam as well as being the owner and Curator of her own space.
Like most times in life I came across Addie and Gallery Vassie through a couple of degree’s of separation and one might say just at the right time to see the best of Brian Duffy’s work. I would highly recommend making an appointment to go and see the rest of Brian Duffy’s work that is not Bowie and therefore not on exhibition at & Foam. I will show you some of my favourite Duffy pieces in another post as today is all about Bowie. You can also purchase prints from Gallery Vassie.
The ironic part of Duffy’s career or some could argue the genius was that he allegedly had burned all his work when he had ‘just had enough’. He famously said “I don’t give a f**k what anyone thinks about me……why? For what? so the doorman at Harrods can recognise me.” I think it was this attitude that made him sincere to his craft. However, later in life it was his son Chris who had also followed his father’s footsteps and become a photographer himself who had said when his father became ill that it was a shame he had burned all his work …. well, of course it turned out he had kept all the negatives of his best work! Thank god for us.
Duffy as one of the ‘Terrible Trio’ that included Terrance Donovan and David Bailey as they had been nicknamed by British Press in 60’s, had been responsible for not only capturing the swinging 60’s but helping create it. Duffy had worked with Bowie a number of times however, the famous album covers came about after Bowie and his manager had asked the Record company what they were going to do with album cover and very nonchalantly had been told to ‘just’ get a photographer. Rather insulted by this blase attitude Bowie decided to contact his friend Duffy and therefore, work with one of the most expensive photographers! We know the result ……. fantastic!
This week I will also bring you a post on Duffy’s fashion photos and of course, give you a bit more insight into his work. I also will hopefully be able to follow up with Addie on their latest exhibition; ‘Benghazi: Home of the Brave’ by Annette Den Ouden that will be in the Gallery from this Saturday and you can come to Gallery Vassie between 1 – 6pm.
What do you think of the iconic Bowie pictures?
Ciao for Now xx