Bob Carlos Clarke

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Bob Carlos Clarke
Robert Carlos Clarke

(1950-06-24)24 June 1950
Died25 March 2006(2006-03-25) (aged 55)
London, England, United Kingdom
Known forPhotography
ChildrenScarlett Carlos Clarke

Robert Carlos Clarke (24 June 1950 – 25 March 2006) was a British-Irish photographer who made erotic images of women as well as documentary, portrait and commercial photography.[1][2]

Carlos Clarke produced six books during his career: The Illustrated Delta of Venus (1980), Obsession (1981), The Dark Summer (1985), White Heat (1990), Shooting Sex (2002), Love Dolls Never Die (2004), and one DVD, Too Many Nights (2006).

His work is held in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London.

Life and work[edit]

Carlos Clarke was born in Cork, Ireland[3] and educated at more than one English public school (boarding schools, at that time single sex). They included Wellington College, Berkshire. After school after a gap in Dublin working in various low level positions at advertising agencies and newspapers as a trainee journalist and a brief spell in Belfast in 1969, Carlos Clarke moved back to England in the latter half of 1970 and enrolled in Worthing College of Art in West Sussex.[4][5]

By 1975 he had moved to Brixton, London, and enrolled in the London College of Printing. He later went on to complete an MA from the Royal College of Art[3] in photography, graduating in 1975.

He initially in 1969 or 1970[4] began photographing nudes as a means of making money; using his fellow students as models he shot for Paul Raymond Publications, Men Only and Club International.

Carlos Clarke's first encounter with photographing models in rubber and latex was an experience with a gentleman called 'The Commander', a publisher of a magazine for devotees of rubber wear who had contacted Carlos Clarke to shoot for his publication.[4] The British pop artist Allen Jones[6] was a good friend of Carlos Clarke.[2] Jones' work drew heavily on fetishism and he advised the younger photographer to lay off the fetish scene.[2] He is "often referred to as the British Helmut Newton".[7]

Personal life[edit]

While at Worthing he met Sue Frame, later his first wife.[2][3] Knowing that she was a part-time model he "knew he had to become a photographer without delay" and persuaded her to pose for him on a chromed 650 cc Triumph Bonneville. In 1975, a couple of years later, they married at Kensington Registry Office.


Carlos Clarke committed suicide on 25 March 2006.[3][1][8] He is survived by his wife Lindsey and their daughter. He is buried in West Brompton cemetery. [9]


Publications by Carlos Clarke[edit]

  • The Illustrated Delta of Venus. W H Allen, 1980.
  • Obsession. Quartet, 1981.
  • The Dark Summer. Quartet, 1985.
  • Shooting Sex: The Definitive Guide to Undressing Beautiful Strangers. Self-published, 2002. ISBN 978-0954346201.
  • Love Dolls Never Die. Self-published, 2004. Edition of 300 copies.
  • The Agony and the Ecstasy. Brighton, UK: Jane & Jeremy, 2018. With texts by Max Houghton and Carlos Clarke. Edition of 200 copies.

Publications paired with others[edit]


  • Too Many Nights (Panoramica, 2006)


Carlos Clarke's work is held in the following public collection:


  1. ^ a b McCabe, Eamonn (2 April 2006). "Obituary: Bob Carlos Clarke". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d "Bob Carlos Clarke". The Daily Telegraph. 29 March 2006. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d Garfield, Simon (26 April 2009). "The naked truth about Bob Carlos Clarke". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Carlos Clarke, Bob (2002). Shooting Sex; The Definitive Guide to Undressing Beautiful Strangers. London: Self-Published. pp. 18–31.
  5. ^ "Bob Carlos Clarke - Iconic Photographer". Amateur Photographer. 1 March 2010. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  6. ^ Tate Gallery catalogue
  7. ^ Collins, Britt (19 May 2012). "Bob Carlos Clarke, husband and father". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  8. ^ Kirby, Terry. "Bob Carlos Clarke, photographer of beautiful women, is laid to rest". The Independent. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  9. ^ "PBWA Kensington & Chelsea". 5 November 2020.
  10. ^ "Bob Carlos Clarke images donated". BBC News. 14 August 2013. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  11. ^ Kennedy, Maev (13 August 2013). "Bob Carlos Clarke pictures presented to the National Portrait Gallery". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  12. ^ "Bob Carlos Clarke - Person - National Portrait Gallery". National Portrait Gallery, London. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  13. ^ "News Release: National Portrait Gallery Acquires rarely seen Celebrity Photographs by Bob Carlos". National Portrait Gallery, London. Archived from the original on 27 July 2018. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  14. ^ "Bob Carlos Clarke". Retrieved 16 May 2021.
  15. ^ "Search our collection". Retrieved 16 May 2021.

Further reading[edit]

  • Exposure: The Unusual Life and Violent Death of Bob Carlos Clarke by Simon Garfield
  • "Interview with Bob Carlos Clarke, TDP Magazine (October 2004)

External links[edit]