Bob Carlos Clarke
Bob Carlos Clarke (1950 – 2006) was a prolific photographer who in his short life had a strong impact upon and influenced the development of photography from the late 20th Century through to the present day. Best known as a photographer of women in a state of undress, his work explores the fetishisation of the female figure in unnerving, provocative and engrossing scenes.
Bob Carlos Clarke was born in Cork, Ireland in 1950. He moved to England to study art and design at The West Sussex College of Art where he developed an interest in photography. He then went on to The London College of Printing, before completing his degree at the Royal College of Art in 1975.
He worked in almost every sphere of photography, winning numerous awards for his high-profile advertising campaigns, recognition for his photojournalism and portraits of celebrities, and international acclaim from collectors of fine prints, often referred to as Britain’s answer to Helmut Newton.
Bob Carlos Clarke produced six books: The Illustrated Delta of Venus (1979), Obsession (1981), The Dark Summer (1985), White Heat (1990), Shooting Sex (2002), and Love Dolls Never Die (2004). A 25th anniversary edition of White Heat (Octopus) was published in 2015. The Estate of Bob Carlos Clarke has since published The Agony and The Ecstasy (Jane & Jeremy, 2018), and Studio (The Little Black Gallery, 2020). A biography Exposure: The Unusual Life and Violent Death of Bob Carlos Clarke by Sunday Times bestselling author Simon Garfield was published by Ebury Press in 2009.
He died in 2006. His works are highly collectible and have been acquired by national art galleries including the National Portrait Gallery (UK), National Media Museum for the National Photography Collection (UK), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum (USA), and Crawford Art Gallery (Ireland); as well as private collections including the Michael Wilson Centre of Photography and the Elton John Photography Collection.