Sam Haskins died last night. He was severely depressed after his stroke in New York in September and I suspect he suffered another smaller stroke after his return to Australia. In an act that was entirely out of character with his consistent celebration of living large, art and beauty, Sam took his own life.
Alida is being cared for by friends and Oren and I are flying to Australia as soon as possilbe.
I genuinely thought he would pull out of his post stroke depression, I had always watched him overcome challenges with a combination of intelligence, know how, buckets of creative talent and extraordinary discipline. Unfortunately the stroke on September 19th, the day his show opened at Milk Gallery, damaged the right side of his brain and he never recovered his emotional stability.
It is always a wrenching loss to see great minds and great artists departing but Sam had a recent blessing, his last rock star moment, in New York, with the huge success of his Fashion Etcetera book launch and exhibition. That recent high note was made especially poignant by the photographers, both from New York and those who came to Manhattan from all over the world, to tell Sam that they had embarked on their careers because of his books. We lost count of the number of times that was said.
Sam's fellow professionals and fans showed him enormous warmth, love and respect in New York - those memories are very fresh in my mind - and I want to thank the people concerned.
I will post an obituary later.
Ludwig Haskins (Sam's son)