Exposure: The Unusual Life and Violent Death of Bob Carlos Clarke by Simon Garfield


  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (14 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091922585
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091922580
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3 x 24.3 cm

‘When people flick through my earlier books and come across a portrait of a much younger me, I know what they’re thinking: “My God, is that you!” or worse, “How long ago was that?” For the purpose of deification, an early death is essential. If you want to qualify as a legend: get famous young, die tragically and dramatically, and never underestimate the importance of your iconic photographs.’

Award-winning journalist Simon Garfield set out to write a fly-on-the-wall book about celebrity – about one agent, Ghislain Pascal, four of his clients and their quest for fame and riches. It would be entertaining, illuminating, funny and perhaps even shocking. But as he began to work on the project, Garfield realised that it was another of Pascal’s clients – Bob Carlos Clarke – who provided the key to really understanding this showbiz world – not only its glamour, but also its darker side; the time when the lustre of fame fades and its myth takes over.

Bob Carlos Clarke was one of the most controversial photographers of his generation. With a reputation for brilliant, sexually-infused shots he photographed major rock stars, models and most of Pascal’s clients. Many experts believe him to be among the greatest unsung artistic talents of his generation. But he was also his own worst enemy, a troubled genius beset by self-doubt and prone to bad decisions. When he killed himself in 2006, at the age of 55, many people saw it as the inevitable ending to an inspired but troubled career.

Combining interviews with Carlos Clarke himself, his widow Lindsey and daughter Scarlett, and agent Ghislain Pascal, along with his brother, girlfriends, models, friends, assistants and benefactors, Exposure provides a unique window into his remarkable life and tragic death. A startling and compulsive oral history, it tells a dark story of brilliance gone awry, of a tortured soul, and of what happens when someone tries to square the desire for fame and wealth with a need for artistic acclaim and respect.

Passionate and compelling, Exposure is a story of love, art, sex and corrosive despair. Above all, it is a candid, insightful glimpse into the soul of a remarkable artist burdened with obsession.

Simon Garfield is the author of ten highly acclaimed books of non-fiction including Mauve, The Error World and The Wrestling. His edited diaries from the Mass Observation Archive – Our Hidden Lives, We Are at War and Private Battles – provided unique insights into the Second World War and its aftermath, and his study of AIDS in Britain, The End of Innocence, won the Somerset Maugham Prize.

Please allow 7 days for delivery in UK, 14 days for Europe, and 21 days rest of the world

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