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Art Kane by Gail Buckland & Julian Seddon


Art Kane was one of a handful of photographers who, from the late 1950’s onward, made fashion and music photography fun. His imagination was the territory he found most intoxicating, and he rarely saw anyone straight on – except, of course, in his famous jazz musicians group portrait ‘Harlem 1958’.
Art Kane was always interested in making a unique image.
That is why his photography is timeless. Creativity never goes out of fashion.

Gail Buckland, Photo Historian, Curator

Up early, lots of talk, masses of enthusiasm. Cameras and lenses checked light meter hung over his chest. Art was a busy man before a days outing. We make the docks at Porto Cervo before dawn and set up by the quay. Three good looking girls hop down the gang plank from a large boat nearby. Art talks to them in passing – they are from Madame Claude and due for transport back to Paris, no models there.
Dawn shots are complete – breakfast is taken. The Aga Khan has lent us his helicopter for the air shots of the resort. We adjust harnesses, these give us enough freedom to move in flight. Art boards and readies his lenses. We are airborne, the chopper is noisy and powerful, Art is turned on by it. He starts shooting , a sudden bank by the pilot sends the biggest lens tumbling into the sea. A surprisingly polite expletive comes from Art, who shoots on without a break, laughing as he does so.
The days shooting is complete, although, since this is pre digital we won’t know the result until some days later. Art, however, is happy.
This is my recollection of Art every time I shot with him – boisterous energetic, puppy like indeed.
There was a darker side as well. At times the clouds gathered over dinner when Art calmed down after the day’s high and he sank into a philosophical or depressed state.
The next day optimism had returned.
I loved Art, both as a friend and an artist. He was a truly creative photographer and was helped in this by a humorous personality driven by his irrepressible energy. Personalities enjoyed his presence and his eye created images in which all could happily inhabit.
I wish I had been at the Esquire shoot of all those Jazz musicians !  

Julian Seddon, Film Maker, Art Kane’s Agent


Art Kane
Reel Art Press
Photography by Art Kane
by Jonathan Kane (Author), Holly Anderson (Author), Peter Doggett (Introduction), Michael Somoroff (Foreword)
320pp; Hardback w/slipcase;

200 colour & b/w photographs
304 x 245 mm / 12 x 10 in
ISBN: 978-1-909526-12-9

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