Archive for January, 2009

Four Masters of Erotic Photography

Monday, January 26th, 2009

I was preparing some PR for the forthcoming book when I came across an old exhibition catalogue.

In 1970 an exhibition titled 'Four Masters of Erotic Photography' was first shown in Munich and later travelled around Europe including London. The show featured my work alongside David Hamilton, Francis Giacobetti and Kishin Shinoyama.

The images below (a small subset of the original list), for the sake of expediency, were scanned from the catalogue. Looking at this publication, almost 40 after the event, it is remarkable to see first hand to what extent colour printing has improved since then. Similarly the quality of early colour editions of fashion magazines compared with contemporary examples are like night and day. Long live the digital revolution!





The image below is a zoom-in on the on the lower right layout element from the shot above.


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Madonna turns to Cowboy Kate for ‘inspiration’

Monday, January 12th, 2009

Exactly when creative inspiration turns to in-your-face theft can sometimes be a grey zone. But then there are occasions when all debate is removed.

Of course there are those who say that imitation is the highest form of flattery but that’s garbage, when it looks like theft, tastes like theft and smells like theft – then guess what?

The May 2008 cover shoot for British Elle featured Madonna as Cowboy Kate. This wasn’t a case of ‘influence’ – dipping into my books for a spark of inspiration or developing an idea or a variation on a theme – this was plain stealing.

Photograph by Tom Munro

One monitor in the studio was plastered with images from my books including the iconic shot of Kate with her black hat over one eye and next to it another monitor with the copies – literally an identical copy of Kate, live digital images of Madonna from Tom Munro’s camera. This is as brazen an example of photographic plagiarism – straight forward stealing – as you will ever see.

Three centre photographs by Sam Haskins

Cowboy Kate by Sam Haskins

Madonna as Kate by Tom Munro

In the video below, the Oscar nominated Hollywood stylist and costumer, Arianne Phillips holds forth on “the concept” of the shoot without mentioning Sam Haskins or Cowboy Kate at all. The commissioning magazine Elle also stays silent in print and online. The photographer Tom Munro who, (at the time of writing ) has a Cowboy Kate rip-off image on his website cannot find the honesty to give credit. Many of his photographs are very ‘reminiscent’ of my work as well as that of Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Sarah Moon and on occasion, David Hamilton.

The only person to emerge from this graceless – ‘I’m-so-cool-I-can-laugh-off-my-thieving’ – with their professional integrity intact, is Madonna’s Make-up artist Gina Brooke, the artistic director of Shu Uemura. She mentioned in an online interview (published just after the May 2008 issue of Elle went on sale) that she regularly turns to my work for inspiration.

One cannot help wondering; Why work so hard to copy a living photographer? Why not just hire him or her to do the job! The copies are always second rate. Great photographers do not allow themselves to be prostituted into plagiarism.

Or better still, why on earth don’t these stylists, creative directors and photographers come up with some ideas of their own. There are infinite new fresh ideas out there. Idea theft is a disease among certain players in the business – its time the editors, if they weren’t so complicit in the process, put a stop to it.

Lighting and Image Theft

Its noticeable that the first thing that gets screwed when photographers steal image ideas is lighting. They don’t even begin to appreciate how much of the original mood and design was down to lighting.

To illustrate the point, here’s one of the shots by Tom Munro from the Elle shoot and the original below.



We all stand on the shoulders of giants – its fundamental to the history of art. We have all been influenced by our contemporary colleagues and the great figures of history but it should be done with full knowledge and respect. Especially when influence is explicit, paying homage indirectly is not enough.

I have had my work relentlessly copied for the past 47 years but this is outrageous!

2014 IP Legal Update: Please note, to all parties responsible for unauthorised and/or unlicensed use of images by Sam Haskins. The Sam Haskins Estate, now under new management, will pursue all breaches of intellectual property/image rights law. At the same time the estate is generous to approaches from academics, non profits and others who may be restricted in funding but wish to make use of Sam’s photography. Equally, normal commercial requests for image rights are dealt with on a fair and prompt basis with very competitive rates always based on the nature and scale of usage.

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Masters of 20th Century Photography

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

This 'heads up' comes a little late in the day - simply because I have only just been made aware of it.

The Museum of Modern Art in Lugano, Switzerland is hosting a show titled 'Masters of 20th Century Photography'.

The official title is: 'photo20esimo' - maestri della fotografia del XX secolo.

For those who are close to Southern Switzerland and want to catch this exhibition you have until January 11th 2009. The show opened in October.


I do of course champion all celebrations of great photography but it is sad to see that the curators have omitted some real 20th century photographic giants like...

Guy Bourdin
Will McBride
Annie Leibowitz
Sarah Moon

...while including a number of very marginal so called 'masters'.

Here is a Google map link to the Museum's location.

Museo d’Arte Moderna‎
Riva Antonio Caccia 5 - 6900 Lugano
Tel: +41 (0)58 866 68 00

5 October 2008-11 January 2009

Opening hours:
Tuesday-Sunday 10 a.m.-6p.m.
Monday closed

A catalogue is available but not online from the Museum. have it in stock at the time of writing.

A short introduction to the catalogue can be viewed on the museum website.

Here is a list of the 174 artists (I have added links where possible). Looking down the list its sad to see how many colleagues have passed away recently, not least of all George Lewinsky who authored 'The Naked and the Nude - A History of Nude Photography.' He was senior lecturer at the London College of Printing and famous for photographing British Artists. His wife, Mayotte Magnus, although not on this list, is also an outstanding photographer.

Berenice Abbott (1898-1929)
Paola Agosti (1947)
Manuel Alvarez Bravo (1902-2002)
Nobuyoshi Araki (1940)
Diane Arbus (1923-1971)
Richard Avedon (1923-2004)
Roberto Baccarini & Angelo Porta
David Bailey (1938)
Gianpaolo Barbieri (1940)
Olivo Barbieri (1954)
Gabriele Basilico (1944)
Herbert Bayer(1900-1985)
Irene Bayer (1898-1991)
Peter Beard (1938)
Cecil Beaton (1904-1980)
Manfredi Bellati (1932)
Gianni Berengo Gardin (1930)
Werner Bischof (1916-1954)
Erwin Blumenfeld (1897-1969)
Achille Bologna (1888-1958)
Gino Bolognini (1908-1994)
Mario Bonzuan (1904-1982)
Alexander Borodulin (1952)
Margaret Bourke-White (1904-1971)
Arturo Bragaglia (Studio Bragaglia) (1894-1960)
Bill Brandt (1904-1983)
Brassaï (Gyula Halász) (1899-1984)
Josef Breitenbach (1896-1984)
Anton Bruhel (1900-1982)
René Burri (1933)
William Burroughs (1914-1997)
Jo Ann Callis (1940)
Robert Capa (Endre Friedmann) (1913-1954)
Lisetta Carmi (1924)
Giuseppe Cavalli (1904-1961)
Giovanni Chiaramonte (1948)
Hilda Cieluszek
Karl Cieluszek
Mauro Cinquetti (1949)
Paul Citroen (1896-1983)
Bob Carlos Clarke (1950-2006)
Lucien Clergue (1934)
Mario Cresci (1942)
Imogen Cunningham (1883-1976)
Judy Dater (1941)
Mario De Biasi (1923)
Patrick Demarchelier (1944)
Raymond Depardon (1942)
Robert Doisneau (1912-1994)
Mario Dondero (1929)
Pietro Donzelli (1915-1998)
Max Dupain (1911-1992)
William Eggleston (1939)
Siegfried Enkelmann (1905-1978)
Walker Evans (1903-1975)
Frederick Henry Evans (1853-1943)
John Everard
Andreas Feininger (1906-1999)
Lux Feininger (1910)
Larry Fink (1941)
Franco Fontana (1933)
Joan Fontcuberta (1955)
Vittore Fossati (1954)
Robert Frank (1924)
Lee Friedlander (1934)
Flor Garduño (1957)
Caio Garruba (1923)
Giovanni Gastel (1955)
Luigi Ghirri (1943-1992)
Mario Giacomelli (1925-2000)
Ralph Gibson (1939)
Paolo Gioli (1942)
Nan Goldin (1953)
Emmet Gowin (1941)
Milton Greene (1922-1985)
Franco Grignani (1908-1999)
Jan Groover (1943)
Ernst Haas (1921-1986)
Heinz Hajek-Halke (1898-1983)
Philippe Halsman (1906-1979)
Robert S. Harrah
Sam Haskins (1926)
Florence Henri (1893-1982)
Horst P. Horst (Horst Paul Albert Bohrmann) (1906-1999)
Frank Horvat (1928)
Eikoh Hosoe (1933)
Georges Hurrell (1904-1992)
Lotte Johanna Jacobi (1896-1990)
immo Jodice (1934)
Alfred Cheney Johnston (1885-1971)
Colleen F. Kenyon (1951)
André Kertész (1894-1985)
Willy Kessels (1889-1974)
Edmund Kesting (1892-1970)
William Klein (1928)
Fred G. Kort (1902-1983)
Leslie Robert Krims (1943)
Karl Lagerfeld (1933)
Jacques-Henri Lartigue (1894-1986)
Franz Lazi (1922-1998)
Jorge Lewinsky (1921-2008)
Herbert List (1903-1975)
Heinz Loew (1903-1981)
Elio Luxardo (1908-1969)
Man Ray (Emmanuel Rudnitsky)(1890-1976)
Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989)
Fosco Maraini (1912-2004)
Linda Mc Cartney (1941-1998)
Don McCullin (1935)
Raymond Meier (1957)
Steven Meisel (1954)
Pietro Francesco Mele
Sheila Metzner (1939)
Joel Meyerowitz (1938)
Duane Michals (1932)
László Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946)
Carlo Mollino (1905-1973)
Barbara Morgan (1900-1992)
Ugo Mulas (1928-1973)
Arnold Newman (1918-2006)
Helmut Newton (1920-2004)
Arrigo Orsi (1897-1967)
Paul Outerbridge (1896-1958)
Norman Parkinson (1913-1990)
Giulio Parmiani (1918-1960)
Lionel Pasquon (1947)
Federico Patellani (1911-1977)
Irving Penn (1917)
John Pfahl (1939)
James Pickerell
Pierluigi (Pierluigi Praturlon) (1924-1999)
Edward Quigley (1898-1977)
Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008)
Albert Renger-Patzsch (1897-1966)
Emery Reves-Biro (1895-1975)
Bettina Rheims (1952)
Hans Richter (1888-1976)
Herb Ritts (1952-2002)
Aleksandr Rodchenko (1891-1956)
Fulvio Roiter (1926)
Arthur Rothstein (1915-1985)
Franco Rubartelli (1937)
Thomas Ruff (1958)
Xanti (Alexander) Schawinsky (1904-1979)
Herbert Schürmann (1908-1982)
Ferdinando Scianna (1943)
Tazio Secchiaroli (1925-1998)
Ettore Secco d'Aragona
Andrés Serrano (1950)
Cindy Sherman (1954)
Kishin Shinoyama (1940)
Jeanloup Sieff (1933-2000)
Aaron Siskind (1903-1991)
Keith Smith (1938)
Eugene William Smith (1918-1978)
Anton Stankowski (1906-1998)
Edward Steichen (1879-1973)
Otto Steinert (1915-1978)
Bert Stern (1929)
Karl Straub (1900-?)
Thomas Struth (1954)
Oliviero Toscani (1942)
Max Vadukul (1961)
Federico Vender (1901-1999)
Luigi Veronesi (1908-1998)
Roman Vishniac (1897-1990)
Wilhelm Von Gloeden (1856-1931)
Chris Von Wagenheim (1941-1982)
Weegee (Arthur Felling) (1899-1968)
Brett Weston (1911-1993)
Edward Weston (1886-1958)
Minor White (1908-1976)
Garry Winogrand (1928-1984)
Francesca Woodman (1958-1981)
Steef Zoetmulder (1911)


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Many of the so called lists of master photographers on the web are too coloured by the tastes of individual editors. Wikipedia has the potential to be the only comprehensive and detailed source of information about the world's best photographers. Please help make it so.

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