January 28, 1996 |
'For the photographer," says William Claxton, "the camera is like a jazz musician's ax. It's the tool that you would like to be able to ignore, but you have to have it to convey your thoughts and whatever you want to express through it." Few photographers have communicated and expressed their thoughts about jazz through their photographs better than Claxton, who has been the visual chronicler of choice for musicians since the '50s.
February 18, 1996
Back in the '50s and '60s, when jazz greats played clubs like Casablanca and the Jungle Room, L.A. was at its musical coolest. And legendary photographer William Claxton, a California native, was there. He chronicled the scene and captured the likes of Bird and Baker for what would become classic album cover art. Now the City of Angels is once again a hotbed for hip riffs.
May 24, 1992 |
THE RUDI GERNREICH BOOK by Peggy Moffitt and William Claxton (Rizzoli: $50; 224 pp.) . If you can recall the Kennedy assassinations, then surely you haven't forgotten the topless bathing suit from the same era. Los Angeles' most famous fashion designer, the late Rudi Gernreich, seared his name on history's time line with that garment. The Kabuki-eyed model who wore it to infamy was Peggy Moffitt, and the photographer of record was her husband, William Claxton. This was their most sensational collaboration, but it was only one of hundreds.
March 3, 2013 |
No one embodies the spirit of Mod quite like Peggy Moffitt, L.A.'s own 1960s-era muse. Moffitt, model and collaborator with modernist designer Rudi Gernreich, appears in a number of memorable images from the period, including this black-and-white gem from "Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?" the 1966 cult French film by director and photographer William Klein that is a satirical send-up of the fashion industry. Seated at the far left, Moffitt, plays herself. She appears in only two scenes in the film, including this one, depicting a group of young models dressed in stripes, against a backdrop of stripes, applying their Kabuki-like makeup.
February 11, 1996 |
CLAXOGRAPHY, THE ART OF JAZZ PHOTOGRAPHY photographs by William Claxton, with texts by William Claxton and James Gavin (Nieswand Verlag, distributed by DAP: $65; 132 pp.) Too often the term "stolen moments" finds itself tossed around in conjunction with jazz photography. It's an easy cliche that is not only dismissing but tacitly imprecise--especially in reference to William Claxton, who subtly eases past many jazz conventions. He insists on bending the cliche, twisting the irony.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 13, 2008 |
William Claxton, the master photographer whose images of Chet Baker helped fuel the jazz trumpeter's stardom in the 1950s and whose fashion photographs of his wife modeling a topless swim suit were groundbreaking years later, has died. He was 80. Claxton died from complications of congestive heart failure Saturday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his wife, actress and model Peggy Moffitt Claxton, told The Times.