Duggie Fields death: British artist and fashion icon passes away age 76

Bruno Cooke March 8, 2021
Duggie Fields death: British artist and fashion icon passes away age 76
Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP via Getty Images

Duggie Fields, whose artistic career spanned minimalism, conceptual and constructivist phases, postmodernism, Maximalism and Transport for London poster art, has passed away, cause of death unknown. Today, social media celebrates the 76-year-life and art of Duggie Fields, as well as his relationship with Luciana Martinez de la Rosa.

Duggie Fields, artist and fashion icon

Born in 1945, Duggie Fields’ art career spanned over five decades. His first solo exhibition, at the Hamet Gallery, London, was in 1971. 

However, he first started painting at the age of 11. A local exhibition was reportedly incredulous when it received an abstract work of such brilliance from an 11-year-old. 

After an early foray into architecture, Fields attended the Chelsea School of Art, from 1964 to 1968.

Photo by James Lemke Jr/FilmMagic

Day-Glo icon and prose poet

During the late 1960s and 1970s, Fields lived with Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett, developed his Day-Glo style (that would later inspire Marc Bolan, Stanley Kubrick, Derek Jarman and David Bowie, not to mention Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters).

By the middle of the 1970s, he was creating artworks that would later be defined as postmodernist.

Some have even identified him as a key starting point for the Free The Nipple Movement – although Duggie Fields denied the accreditation.

His websites contains references to many of his visual and auditory works, as well as prose and non-fiction texts.

Was Duggie Fields married?

It is unknown whether or not Duggie Fields was married. 

The artist appeared in photography collections as part of the 1980s queer scene in London. He was also a member of an art clique called Them, who were predominantly queer

However, his actual relationship status remained private.

Tributes to Duggie Fields

Friends, fans and followers have commemorated Duggie Fields’ death on Twitter and other social media platforms. 

Ty Jeffries, who apparently met Fields many times, describes the artist as “genius & an eccentric with a wonderful sense of idiosyncratic style. His artwork may now get the appreciation it deserved in his life.”

“…and he was always a delight.”

https://twitter.com/MrTyJeffries/status/1368606104268201986

Joining the chorus of celebrators and condolers are Pink Floyd, neighbour and fellow artist BISHI, and Fields’ step-niece Sarah Deech. The latter describes Duggie as “the coolest man in London” and a “gentle, kind, creative genius”.

Duggie Fields and Luciana Martinez de la Rosa

Finally, musician and actor Gary Kemp drew attention to Duggie Fields’ “muse”, actress Luciana Martinez de la Rosa. 

Fields once described de la Rosa as “very forceful mentally. She had a glamorous, unique sense of what it was to be a woman.” 

“She was very conscious of the disadvantages socially that could have, but at the same time revelled in her femaleness.”

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Bruno Cooke has been a freelance journalist since 2019, primarily with GRV Media. He was an early contributor to The Focus, and has written for HITC, Groundviews and the Sheffield University newspaper – he earned his MA in Global Journalism there in 2021. He’s the Spoken Word Poetry Editor for The Friday Poem, and self-published his debut novel Reveries in 2019, which his mum called both a “fine read” and “excellent Christmas present”. Bruno has lived in China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines and likes, among other things: bicycle touring, black and white Japanese films, pub quizzes, fermentation and baklava. In 2023, Bruno will set off with his partner on a round-the-world cycle.