Over his lifetime, John’s portrait was taken by many photographers. He was a willing subject and enjoyed the process. Here are a few examples.
(left) John Kobal by Abe Frajndlich ,London 1972
(right) John Kobal by Abe Frajndlich, New York 1986
Abe Frajndlich, who lived in New York, met John when he was walking down a London street carrying a portfolio of his photographs on his way to show them to potential magazine employers. John stopped him and asked if he could see the work. He liked it, said he was travelling to Europe the next day and if Abe wanted somewhere to stay then he could stay in his apartment. Abe was amazed that a complete stranger could so generously make such an offer without knowing anything about him. But he accepted and they became firm friends and Abe took more photos of John during his life than any other photographer.
(left) John Kobal by Laszlo Willinger, Los Angeles 1980
(right) John Kobal by George Hurrell, Los Angeles 1982
To be photographed by photographers whose work he loved so much was a particular pleasure for John. They each perceived him very differently.
John Kobal by Helmut Newton, Monte Carlo 1985
John was in Monte Carlo at a festival as was Helmut, whom John already knew. Helmut took this shot whilst they were sitting by the pool chatting.
John Kobal with Andy Warhol’s 1986 portrait, London 1988
Warhol and John knew each other in New York. Warhol often hosted parties to launch John’s books and John did interviews for Interview magazine. Warhol loved Hollywood images and when he did his series Myths in 1981, he asked John to select the Garbo image for it. Later he shot a portrait of John which is now in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London.