Posts Tagged ‘Five Girls’

Alexa Chung’s ‘Five Girls’ style reference

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

Alexa Chung has long been a fan of Gill from Sam’s first groundbreaking book ‘Five Girls’ published in 1962. In particular the shots of Gill sitting on the floor in black over-the-knee socks

Gill Black stockings Cover

In August 2007, plans were announced for Alex Turner to record an album with Miles Kane, James Ford and Owen Pallett. This new side group was named The Shadow Puppets. A month or two before this announcement Alexa and Alex started dating, a relationship that lasted until mid 2011. Alexa it turns out was responsible for suggesting the image of Gill on the cover of the album.

Lsptaotualbumsquaredrm0

The Age of the Understatement, was released on 21 April 2008 and reached number one in its first week. The resultant publicity caused some online speculation about the identity of the model. Gill, is alive and well, a painter and a grandmother living with family in South Africa. At the time she was an art student with no modelling experience who just turned out to be a natural in front of the camera.

Alexa Chung and Alex Turner 02

Alexa now has a print of Gill in her black socks/stockings in her home and featured a variant of the shot (the first image in this post) in her book ‘IT’, to decorate a chapter discussing underwear choices. The book launched this month just as the October issue of British Vogue hit the book shelves with, Alexa on the cover. Nice timing.

Alexa Chung  October Vogue 2013

Alexa’s quirky. eclectic wardrobe, infused with good taste and her sexy girl-next-door image is an excellent fit with the aesthetic values from Sam’s black and white work in the 60′s. We are happy to have her as a fan.

Alexa Chung Over the Knee Comp

Alida Haskins (1927-2012)

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

Sam and Alida guests of honour

Sam & Alida – guests of honour at a photographic dinner, Johannesburg, late 60s.

Alida and Sam London 70s

Alida and Sam in the Glebe Place, Chelsea, London studio in the 70s. Photo: Petr Tausk 1976. This image is in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London.

Alida Haskins (1927-2012), my mother and wife to Sam Haskins (1926-2009), passed away on December 5th, 2012 in Sydney Australia, she had been ill with Mesothelioma for a year.

Alida was not just Sam’s wife, she was his business companion for his entire career. The great heroic moment of her support for Sam was the successful sale of ‘Five Girls’ (1962) after being turned down by dozens of publishers. ‘Five Girls’ changed the history of figure photography, inspired the greats of the time including Penn, Avedon and Sieff and launched entire careers like that of Wingate Paine. The commercial success of ‘Five Girls’ and the photographic explorations of grain, dynamism, natural beauty, controlled aesthetics, graphic composition and book layout saw their full expression in Sam’s following three books from the sixties; ‘Cowboy Kate & Other Stories’ (1964), ‘November Girl’ (1967) and ‘African Image’ (1967). Cowboy Kate was featured in the International Centre of Photography’s (NY) exhibition ‘The Open Book: A History of the Photographic Book from 1878 to the Present’ (2005). ‘Kate’ as the book is affectionately known, is probably one of the best selling photographic books of all time. Sam’s distinctive, revolutionary black and white images from the sixties are today, more than ever, highly influential on image and style makers from myriad visual disciplines.

All of this would not have been possible without the business savvy farm girl from South Africa who travelled alone to New York – her first trip to the states – with a ludicrously heavy, hand printed maquette of Five Girls under her arm and a rolodex of every photobook publisher in NY. After six weeks of seeing a publisher every morning and every afternoon (developing an ulcer in the process) and being rejected every time, Sam sent her a telegram and told her to come home. Alida, of course, refused to give up, and the rest is history.

Alida remains to this day uncredited for her creative contribution to Sam’s work – everyone simply saw her as the business mind behind the successful photographer and the chef of legendary studio lunches and dinners. However, Alida had a highly developed eye which many people noted and informally she advised advertising agencies, the BBC, fashion and major lifestyle retailers with ideas that became revolutionary but for which her contribution is unknown.

In Sam’s studio Alida played a key creative role as a stylist. Scouring Johannesburg, London, New York and Paris for props that have been immortalised in Sam’s books. She quietly but firmly also acted as a brilliant picture editor. Her eye for successful design resonance remained as sharp as a tack to the end of her life. During her later years I often found myself waiting with her in doctor’s consulting rooms and I devised a game whereby we would rapidly page through fashion magazine articles that featured many clothes and accessories on a single page. The game was who could be the first to spot the best designed item on a page. To my delight, Alida’s mind was lightning fast and unerringly accurate even with her aged disabled body.

As a child I remember her own creativity also gaining expression with incredible cooking, gardening, piano playing, sewing, knitting, home decorating and throwing the best parties I have ever attended. She represented her university, Pretoria, in three sporting disciplines, Tennis, Hockey and Swimming and stayed athletic until the age of 40 when work and poor health started to take a toll. She was a gifted traveller and she returned with interesting items from her travels. She and Sam built three beautiful homes from scratch; in Johannesburg, London and Bowral, Australia. Sam & Alida’s work and living spaces with their creative use of space, eclectic tastes in collectibles and a talent for combining the playful and the sublime featured in radio programmes, press articles and documentaries throughout their lives.

Sadly the fulfilment of Alida’s many dreams for self expression and happiness were reaped over and over again by a devastating burden of mental illness as she struggled with Borderline Personality Disorder from the age of 12. Battling a monster with no name – she only received a diagnosis in the last months of her life – took a dark and heavy toll on her and the rest of her family.

Despite all the tragedies, she taught many people a lot of things, directly and indirectly – lessons that will live on in future generations.

Alida Medics Munich

Alida with her Neurosurgeon Dr. Andreas Frank standing on the right, plus the senior nurse and the hospital director at Isar Kliniken in Munich Summer 2008.

Oren  Alida German Alps Summer 2008

Alida with her grandson Oren in the German Alps, 2008. We pushed her 3.5kms around this lake, celebrating the success of her spinal surgery in Munich.

Alida in Alps

Alida – proud to take a few paces unassisted a week after an operation to relieve acute spinal stenosis. German Alps 2008.

Alida on the beach 01

Alida on the beach at ‘Seven Mile Beach Nature Reserve’ near Berrima in New South Wales Australia, 2009.

The Chicken Farm Bowral Burradoo

The wall in the breakfast room of Sam and Alida’s home in Bowral, affectionately known as ‘The Chicken Farm’. The embroidered image in the pine frame is by Alice Kettle.

Alida is survived by two sons; Ludwig and Konrad and two grandchildren.

Ludwig Haskins

Alida’s Funeral will take place at:

Magnolia Chapel,
Macquarie Park Crematorium (corner of Plassey and Delhi Roads) Macquarie Park
NSW 2113
Australia

On: Monday, January 7th, 2013 commencing at 11:00AM with a formal ceremony at 11:30AM.

Guest Book: http://bit.ly/UxHU6X

Walter Carter has a florist on site: www.youngsflorist.com.au

Map: http://bit.ly/RW59si

For additional details please contact: Paul Ridder at Walter Carter.

E: Enquiries@WalterCarter.com.au

T: +61 (02) 9389 3499

Sam Haskins at NY Fashion Week

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

This week Lexus held their Eco-Challenge Winners event at Milk Gallery in New York. Sam’s work served to represent the photo/fashion world for what was in effect a one-night exhibition/party/prize winners celebration and of course the presentation of a new vehicle. We printed big poster like prints on heavyweight banner material and fixed them straight to the walls.

Milk Made Site sep 2012

Stable Love by Sam Haskins 01

Milk Lexus Sam Haskins 01

Milk Lexus Sam Haskins 02

Below are three images from the show

Kate Pout from Cowboy Kate by Sam Haskins

Cowboy Kate Gun Belt by Sam Haskins 2 Hands 900

Apprentice by Sam Haskins from Cowboy Kate

‘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.