The visual impact of a Sam Haskins photograph can’t be beat. I love his cinematic sensibility, graphic edge, and cool, modern approach to the nude.
Haskins has been enormously influential in contemporary photography, especially fashion photography, since the 1960s. Madonna and other artists have been appropriating his images for years (Madonna is especially fond of the Cowboy Kate look), which is one reason his work seems instantly familiar to us today.
I’m very sad to say that I’ve just learned that Haskins took his own life last week. According to his son, he was severely depressed following a stroke he suffered in September. I’m sending my love and sympathy to Sam’s family, friends, and admirers. Now more than ever, it’s time to pay tribute to this photographer’s striking body of work.