Project Description

Photographer Chalkie Davies shot dozens of iconic artists in the 70s and 80s, including David Bowie, The Specials, Thin Lizzy, David Bowie and Debbie Harry

After spending four years training to become an Aircraft Engineer at British Airways, Chalkie Davies decided that joining the Rock and Roll Circus was a better way to earn a living than fixing broken Autopilots on Jumbo Jets.

So in 1973 he quit life at the Airport and became a photographer. He joined the NME as Staff Photographer in 1975 and worked there until 1979, where he shot numerous covers and features, as well as touring with Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello and Thin Lizzy for whom he shot the sleeve of Live and Dangerous. In 1980 he helped start The Face with his old NME Editor Nick Logan shooting all the early covers, and he did the same when Arena was launched a few years later. In 1981 Pete Townshend published a book of his work for the Face and NME called Pointed Portraits.

Always wanting to be a studio photographer, he gave up touring in 1980 and moved permanently into the studio, specializing in black and white portraiture. He shot dozens of record covers for many artists including The Specials, The Pretenders, The Who, Pete Townshend, Elvis Costello, David Bowie, David Gilmour and Robert Plant.

In 1988 he decided to switch careers yet again and moved to New York where opened a large Still Life studio, using his background in engineering he merged his passion for both computers and photography by becoming the first large studio in Manhattan to go fully digital in 2001. He claims to get as much enjoyment photographing Yoghurt cartons as he did when shooting rock bands.

Chalkie produces work for collectors in small limited editions. He commits to making a maximum of just 45 examples of each photograph, across all size options. For some photographs, just 30 examples are available.

Chalkie’s insights and anecdotes behind each image are included, and you can read these stories under each image.

Click on an image and you will see detailed price and size information.