Dick Polak grew up in Amsterdam, worked a few years in the Dutch film industry and moved to London in 1966 where someone mistook him for a photographer. As he was completely broke, he didn’t deny it and accepted the job. He borrowed an old Leica from a friend, draped a young blond - the curvaceous minor star of a major Hammer movie - over a crumbling Victorian gravestone in Brompton Cemetery; dressed her in a black negligee, put Infra Red film in his camera and he became an instant and completely unexpected success as a much in-demand photographer. In the next few years he took pictures of all the famous rock stars, fashion designers, actors and writers of the time. He worked in Rome, Berlin, Paris, and London, among others on the films of Jean Luc Godard’s One Plus One, Visconti’s The Damned and Mick Jagger’s Performance and was asked by Stanley Kubrick to take promotional pictures for Clock Work Orange. He often made, and remained, friends with the people he photographed such as Charlotte Rampling, John Lennon, Brian Jones, Helmut Berger, Steve Winwood, Ron Wood, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Jim Capaldi, Marc Bolan, Paul Kossof, Cat Stevens, Ossie Clark, Michael Fish, Amanda Lear, Keith Moon, Richard O’Brien, Ringo Starr, Pattie Boyd , Candice Bergen, and many more. In the relative short time Dick worked as a professional, he photographed most of the personalities and main characters who created what is now known as the Swinging Sixties.
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