Cher, Little Joe, Clint Eastwood Photographed by Gay Photographer Jack Robinson
BY Diane Anderson-Minshall
September 17 2012 11:20 AM ET
Helmut Berger, the Austrian film legend that American viewers probably know best for his role on 1980s-era drama Dynasty, was just 25 when he posed for Robinson in 1969.
In a mere 17 years, photographer Jack Robinson amassed a huge body of work that captured the faces and fashions of the 1960s. When he died at 69 in a Memphis hospital on December 15, 1997, his friend Dan Oppenheimer — who owns the Rainbow Stained Glass Studio in Tennessee and had worked with Robinson on stained glass projects — was the surprise sole beneficiary of his will. While going through his things, Oppenheimer, probably as close a friend as Robinson had then, discovered two things: that he had been a famed photographer and that he was gay.
Oppenheimer also discovered 150,000 images from Robinson's work, many of them shots for Vogue (under the direction of legendary editor Diana Vreeland); many others were simply revealing snapshots of the generation that gave us the Summer of Love, Woodstock, and the British rock invasion. For the first time, those images are collected in this new tome, Jack Robinson On Show: Portraits 1958-72 ($39.95, Palazzo Editions, distributed by TSP/IPG), a compilation of some of that generation's most famous subjects including Joni Mitchell, Clint Eastwood, Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper, Sonny and Cher, and Cybill Shepherd (who provided the book's foreword).
"There is an explorative sensitivity in his work, which could be consequence of his sexuality. Some of his portraits are remarkable in that, even with the most macho of men, a trace of the feminine side of their psyche seems to emerge," writes George Perry in the introduction. "Warren Beatty, then the most celebrated of Hollywood womanizers, becomes in black leathers a gay icon, and when revealed donning his neckware, a narcissistic fob. Has anyone else ever thought of disporting Clint Eastwood in knitwear? Or having Michael Caine strike a camp pose with onne elbow on the mantlepiece?"
Here are just a few of Robinson's captivating portraits. The book can be found at IPGbook.com.