When Little Black Gallery‘s Ghislain Pascal talked to Trebuchet last year, the name Bob Carlos Clarke cropped up.
The gallery has always been associated with the photographer, but as Pascal explained, it can trace its foundation directly to Clarke:
‘I moved in celebrity PR and management which I did for 15 years, and still continue to dabble today.
Through this I met the legendary photographer Bob Carlos Clarke, who became my photographer of choice to photograph all my clients. We became good friends and eventually I became his agent. It is through him that I became involved with photography.
After his untimely death in 2006 I decided to open a photography gallery in his memory that would not only host a permanent room of his work but showcase the best in contemporary photography.’
Friends though they may have been, Ghislain Pascal’s view of Bob Carlos Clarke is not biased. ‘One of the great photographic image-makers of the last few decades’ is the view of Terence Pepper, (Curator of Photographs at the National Portrait Gallery). Famous for his erotic portraits of women (including a pregnant Yasmin leBon and the iconic shot of a rubber-clad Dita Von Teese mixing housewife imagery with dark humour), the ‘British Helmut Newton’ was also famed for a hedonistic series of portraits of chef Marco Pierre White.
Sadly, Bob Carlos Clarke honoured a pact he made with his wife Lindsey, in which they vowed to commit suicide when they looked too old. The pact had always seemed a youthful joke, the macabre twist occurred in March 2006 when the clinically-depressed , artistically-driven Bob took his own life.
Leaving behind a wife and daughter, as well as an archive of visually stunning photographs, his legacy continues to inspire photographers, not least his daughter Scarlett.
A film of Bob Carlos Clarke’s life which Pascal Ghislain refers to in his interview with Trebuchet has now reached pre-production stage, with a Kickstarter project page detailing the process for fans and interested parties wishing to involve themselves in the making of this short documentary directed by Bert and Bertie.
As the site points out: ‘Bob would have loved the fact that two women are making a film about him.’Kickstarter Project Homepage