Bob Richardson

Born: Brooklyn, U.S., 1928
Died: Manhattan, U.S., 2005

Bob Richardson was born in New York in 1928 and first began working as a Graphic Designer.

He picked up his first camera when he was 35 years old.

“I wanted to put reality in my photographs. Sex, drugs and rock “n” roll. That’s what was happening. And I was going to help make it happen. Boy they did not want that in America. Some of those editors were still wearing white gloves to couture.”

He was said to be very difficult to work with due to his constant battle with schizophrenia and as he reached the top he succumbed to his illness and ended as a homeless roaming the streets of San Francisco. A lot of his work was lost during that period, only a small box of negative survived. He wasn’t interested in the past and never kept anything.

An old friend brought him back to New York to teach at the School of Visual Arts and his career started again in the 1960s with the help of Harpers Bazaar’s Art Director Ruth Ansel.

“Bob was the first fashion photographer to expose women’s true complex emotions, on the pages of Harper’s Bazaar in the 60’s. He had an inner vision about stripping away all the artifice and I immediately responded to that. He banished the cult of “the idealized woman” from his fashion pictures and redefined modern beauty.”

In fact, Richardson was attracted to beautiful and troubled women – women with real emotions. He took Black and White shots of Anjelica Huston who became his muse and girlfriend for 4 years.

He also worked for the Italian edition of Vogue Magazine, and GQ Magazine.

He died in his sleep in December 2005 in Manhattan.

His son, Terry Richardson, is following his father’s step as a renowned fashion photographer

Bob Richardson Biography

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Written by Marine Lazarus

Marine Lazarus, an Anglo-French photographer who moved to UK 3 years ago to study journalism at Brunel University in London. Marine is responsible for our Photographers Biographies section.

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