Fashion, Latex and the ‘Dark Genius’ Bob Carlos Clarke

I can’t remember how I first came across the photographer Bob Carlos Clarke, but I know I loved his work from the moment I saw it.  I guess this quote taken from his book Obsession just about sums up how I feel.

“Somewhere between the murkiness of uncompromising porn and ‘acceptable’ erotic art lies an almost forgotten area where overtly sexual imagery can be truthful and beautiful’.

I was luck enough to meet Bob Carlos Clark in 2003, three years before he sadly committed suicide.  Shortly after I discovered his work, I read that he would be doing a book and limited edition print signing…I was so excited.

There was however one major drawback, the signing was to take place at a fetish fair – which scared the hell out of me!  However I couldn’t miss the opportunity, so off I went.

Looking back, it’s funny to think that even thought I loved the edgy photography of Bob Carlos Clarke, how shocked I was.  It was the middle of the afternoon and I vividly remember standing out a mile from the leather and latex clad crowd, and the men walking around in ‘the all together’ like they were walking down the high street on a Saturday afternoon.   I was surprised at how unthreatened I felt, although I did run a mile when a very polite and well dressed man asked if he could lick my boots!

Anyway, this was my first piece of ‘collectible’ art and it felt like it cost a fortune. Looking back, I could kick myself for not having bought all the pieces I loved…suicide has a way of driving prices way, way, way up!

I remember spending ages choosing the print for him to sign.  Even though it was extremely busy, he actually took the time to talk with me.  He could see how much difficulty I had choosing and told me not to worry what anyone about anyone else, as no one else mattered.  He told me to choose from my heart. Great advice I follow to this day, except now it also has to speak to my partners heart (which, by the way, is a great agreement otherwise we’d have pictures of Liverpool FC over our couch!)

One of other piece I wish I’d bought that day was entitled ‘Faithful Unto Death’ (left).

Regardless of what the grieving woman is wearing (come on, latex or not, it’s a pretty amazing look for a funeral), the intensity of her grief is so apparent.  And boy, what a life those guys must have lived!

Bob Carlos Clarke was always interested in the way that fashion influences society’s perception of beauty, which led him to photograph eccentric and extraordinary people who conformed less to the ‘accepted’.

At L FOR LAZARUS, we love people who follow fashion but have developed their own style.  And to love fashion or style, it kinda makes sense that you also have to love the human form.

Anyway, a few other of his pieces below, but why not check out the work of Bob Carlos Clarke for yourselves.

One Response to “Fashion, Latex and the ‘Dark Genius’ Bob Carlos Clarke”
  1. Elaine says:

    Love the mermaid and the forks – takes spooning to a new level!

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