Archive for the ‘Portraits’ Category

Sam Haskins – Birthday

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Sam (1926-2009), born on Armistice Day, would have been 87 today. Raised in South Africa with incredibly humble roots, his many talents found a spiritual home in photography. And, his creative abode welcomed him and recognised his ground breaking contributions across a broad spectrum of creative photography. As he himself said “photography has been very good to me”. His input was huge and without doubt the greatest payback is the pervasive influence that he has had on the profession for over half a century.

Here are some portraits of Sam over the years.

Sam Haskins and Cameras 02
Fun Self Portrait in Chelsea studio, London c1970

Sam Haskins Portrait Tokyo
Sam on a visit to Tokyo c1980. Photo Credit: Unknown.

Sam Haskins by Abby Ross
Sam by Abby Ross. Taken at the ‘Fashion Etcetera’ exhibition in NY, 2009, a week after Sam’s stroke and a few weeks before his death.

Abby Ross’ – the last images of Sam

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

After Sam’s stroke in New York and after his subsequent interview with NY Times’ Horatio Silva at a Le Book event at Milk in New York, Sam had his picture taken by several visitors. Among which was the very talented photographer and lovely person Abby Ross. It is hard to say who actually took the very last picture of Sam but these were among the last.

Sam was still in shock from the stroke, a terrible loss of control for a healthy and disciplined man who always took pride in his appearance and intelligent awareness.

Abby loves Sam’s work and despite his poor mood, she approached her subject with respect and admiration. She also made quick and good use of available space and light, no studio, so fuss. I truly love these images and I am very glad that, this week, the estate is acquiring signed copies for our permanent archive.

Sam by Abby Ross 01 Retouched

Sam by Abby Ross 02 Retouched

Sam by Abby Ross 03 Retouched cropped

‘Five Girls’ 50th Anniversary! Remembering the Artist at Work.

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Ask most people which book they associate with Sam Haskins career and you get an almost knee jerk response “Cowboy Kate”! Quite right, Kate sold almost a million copies, probably a photo book record. However, the most important book, in art historical terms, was ‘Five Girls’ published 2 years earlier in 1962. Five Girls was a commercial success and very much a photographer’s photo book. With Five Girls, although Sam was clearly standing on the shoulders of giants including his acknowledged heroes Avedon and Penn and the extraordinary high contrast work of Lilian Bassman, Sam offered the photographic world the highest philosophical service possible with photography, permission to think, feel and look in new ways. And, characteristically, he did it with a sense of fun – in fact that was part of the gift. But it was never content to employ fun, humour, or natural aesthetics at the expense of crafting perfection. Whatever he was shooting, his love affair with photography and his ‘lone-artist-in-the-studio’ mind set, was always there.

On the 50th anniversary of Five Girls publication, I thought it fitting to gather together some all too rare images of Sam at work.

Sam Haskins and Figgins Junior 1961Sam at work in his Johannesburg studio, 1961, self portrait

Sam Haskins shooting Cowboy KateSam on set with Kate’s horse, 1963, self portrait

Sam Haskins with African Image Layout 1966Sam in front of the working layout of African Image, 1966, Photo: Tom Burgers

SAM 2 Cameras Chelsea 70sSam working with his favourite camera Pentax 67, Chelsea, 1974, self portrait

Sam Shooting Chelsea 1970Sam, uncharacteristically shooting hand held in his Chelsea studio, 1970, photographer unknown.

Sam Haskins Chelsea Studio 70sChelsea Studio, 1973, Self Portrait

Sam Haskins dreaming on set London 70sSam, on set, 1974, photographer unknown

Sam with Big BerthaRental studio, Germany? circa 1978, photographer unknown

Sam Haskins 1978 by Bill JaySam in his balcony office overlooking the Chelsea studio, 1978, Photo: Bill Jay

Sam Haskins Sicilly 1993 by Charles Camberoque cropSam giving animated instructions to the model at a photo workshop in Sicily, 1993, Photo: Charles Camberoque

Sam Haskins NPG opening 2006Sam at the opening of his NPG show, Canberra exhibition, November 2006, Photo: Ludwig Haskins

Sam Haskins for Harpers smallSam on the last shoot of his career, for Harper’s Bazaar Australia, Sydney, 2006. Photo: Ludwig Haskins

Sam Haskins in Library Australia 2007Sam in the library of his home in Australia, 2008. Photo: Ludwig Haskins.

Lucy Rie by Sam Haskins

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Lucy Rie was one of the visual creative giants working in the United Kingdom contemporaneously with Sam.

Although honoured by being made a dame in 1991, in recent years the most spectacular exhibition honouring her work was in 2009 at the Issey Miyake Foundation's 21_21 pavilion in Tokyo, the second time that the legendary Japanese fashion designer has shown Rie's work in Japan.

The design of the exhibition was sublime with the pots shown as though floating on a large pool of water. Unfortunately the catalogue was a let down including the absence of good portraits of the three artists showing in the 'U-Tsu-Wa' (Vessesl) show.

Find out more about Lucy Rie from these sites: Wallpaper, Wikipedia, Crafts Study Centre. The latter link contains a very thorough biography and some charming historical images of Lucy at work in London and playing as a youngster in Austria.

Here are Sam's pictures of Lucy and her work, taken around 1990.




The spread above is from Sam's show at the National Portrait Gallery (Canberra) in 2006.



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