A very charming team from the French breakfast TV show 'Tele Matin' interviewed Sam while we were hanging the show at Milk Gallery. The video they made aired twice, once in October 2009 and again in December 2009. The show's co-anchor Isabelle Chalençon is seen below wearing her Sam Haskins T-shirt while presenting the story.
This video along with others made by CNN and The New York Times form a precious record. They are the last recordings of Sam's voice prior to his stroke which happened just days after this footage was shot. The bruise clearly visible on his right cheek is as a result of a fall he took in Korea on his way to New York. Despite being in constant pain from a tripod fracture of his cheekbone, he kept to his schedule and met all his commitments to the press and the sponsor, Tommy Hilfiger.
France always had a special place in Sam's heart. Not just because from the moment his first book 'Five Girls' was published, the French warmly embraced his work and awarded his second book 'Cowboy Kate' with the coveted Prix Nadar but mainly because collectively the French seemed to be looking at the photography more than the nudity. Sam's work also appeared on two covers of French PHOTO. He had many fond memories of his trips to the city of light, starting in 1950 when he first travelled to the French capital as a student based in London through to presenting his slide show on the first level of the Eiffel Tower in the 80s and shooting for French Vogue in his late seventies.
Some of Sam's greatest contemporary colleague/heroes were also based in Paris; Guy Bourdin and Jean-Loup Sieff. Although Sam contributed to a book published by Sieff featuring the portraits and quotes of other photographers, and they certainly were an influence on one another, they sadly never met.
On this occasion, Paris came to Sam in New York and not only Paris, in five hectic days before the show he was interviewed by journalists from a dozen different countries and the book/exhibition was covered by over 100 magazines in 25 countries. The last interview was on Friday morning and the following morning, September 19th 2009, Sam had the tragic stroke that precipitated a rapid decline that led to his death two months later at home in Australia.
[posted by Ludwig]