David Bowie, Aladdin Sane Album Cover, 1973 - Ghost Embossed
© Duffy & The David Bowie Archive

David Bowie, Aladdin Sane Album Cover, 1973 - Ghost Embossed

By Brian Duffy
About the image

Taken by Duffy during the second of Five Sessions with David Bowie – Duffy’s most famous photograph dates from 1973 and is the iconic and revolutionary cover of David Bowie’s album – Aladdin Sane. A shot that became the defining look of Bowie’s long career, and has been referred to as the “Mona Lisa of pop.”

The defining image of Duffy and Bowie’s creative relationship which has become synonymous with the legacy of both artists.

Bowie's manager Tony Defries commissioned Duffy Design Concepts to create the Aladdin Sane album cover. The brief was simple – “Can you make it expensive?” The intention was to take Bowie to an international level. Also to make the bill so large that the record label would have to pay attention.

A Dye-transfer image was the answer. A process that was notoriously costly, with the production taking place in Switzerland. Duffy drew the iconic red and blue “Flash” across David’s face in lipstick. The outline was then filled in by makeup artist Pierre Laroche.

The image was then sent to airbrush artist Philip Castle. Duffy previously worked on the 1973 Pirelli Calendar with Castle who applied the water symbol on Bowie’s chest.

Release Notes:
PLEASE NOTE: This is a separate edition from the signed versions of the David Bowie, Aladdin Sane Album Cover, 1973 (also available). 

The Duffy Archive released this special "Ghost Embossed" photograph in 2020 in one size only. It is an estate-authorized limited edition with an embossed "Duffy" signature on the front, beneath the image.

Please note that the size listed below is actually IMAGE SIZE, so the artwork itself will actually be several inches larger on each dimension.

Collector's Notes:
Each one is printed to order in the UK, your piece will be hand-numbered by the Duffy Archive and will include an estate-stamped certification on the back. Please allow 2-4 weeks for delivery.

Buyers will receive a certificate of authenticity following delivery. Please contact us with any questions!

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David Bowie, Aladdin Sane Album Cover, 1973 - Ghost Embossed
David Bowie, Aladdin Sane Album Cover, 1973 - Ghost Embossed