Photo Review Australia

April 4, 2006:
Well-known British fashion photographer, Bob Carlos Clarke died on 25 March after being hit by a train on a level crossing in southwest London.

According to news reports, police say they are not treating the death as suspicious, following a report by a witness at the scene. Born in County Cork, Ireland in 1950, Carlos Clarke worked in many areas of photography, including fashion, advertising and photojournalism. He also captured many portraits of high-profile celebrities. However, he is best known for his sexually-charged images, which made him one of the most provocative photographers of the twentieth century. Carlos Clarke came to England as a schoolboy in 1964, attending Wellington College, before studying art and design at the West Sussex College of Art. It was here that he picked up a camera so he could ask a girl he fancied to pose for him. (Several years later she became his wife, although their marriage did not survive Carlos Clarke's infidelities.)

While a student, he began taking pictures of the fetish scene and successfully combined this type of photography with his commercial work, producing advertising images for companies like Levi's and Smirnoff. Much of his success came through publishing large glossy coffee table books which straddled the fine line between erotica and pornography. The first was an illustrated version of Anaïs Nin's book Delta of Venus (1981), which was followed by Obsession, a collection of photographs. The Dark Summer (1995), another collection of sensual images, was a best-seller. His last book, Shooting Sex (2002) included Carlos Clarke's candid accounts of his experiences with his subjects.

Carlos Clarke was one of the first photographers to use the Olympus E-System, which received its UK launch in his London studio. He is survived by his second wife, Lindsey, and his daughter. A Bob Carlos Clarke foundation has been set up to support young photographers. A portfolio of his work can be seen at


All images on this site are fingerprinted. Copyright and all other rights belong to The Estate of Bob Carlos Clarke. No unauthorised use whatsoever may be made of the images. Please address any enquiries to Ghislain Pascal at Panic Pictures