Duffy: The Lost Portraits


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Brian Duffy, one third of the "Terrible Trio" along with David Bailey and Terence Donovan, who revolutionised 1960s British fashion photography, has a surprisingly limited archive.

This is because in 1979, after a particularly testing day in his studios, Duffy tried to burn all of his negatives in a bonfire. Only a number of images were saved.

Speaking in an interview before his death in 2010, Duffy said: "I decided to knock it on the head and that I would never take another picture. I decided to burn all my negatives in the garden. I felt everything I had to do and say in photography had been done."

"Later I wished I'd kept some negs. Looking back on the odd things we've found, I'd love to have known the sequence of prints, only from an historical point of view. You make decisions in one period that you wouldn't necessarily make in another. But it's stimulating to try something new, it's interesting to be crazy."

More than 50 years since he was first commissioned as a photographer, a collection of rare, signed Duffy prints salvaged from the bonfire and found among friends' collections will go on display at London's Proud Chelsea this week.

Click here or on "View Gallery" for a picture preview

Duffy: The Lost Portraits from 22 March to 13 May, www.proud.co.uk