Revered music photographer Mick Rock has died at the age of 72. Representatives confirmed the news via social media Thursday night (November 18). “He was a photographic poet—a true force of nature who spent his days doing exactly what he loved, always in his own delightfully outrageous way,” read the statement. See it in full below.
Rock was best known for the work he created during the 1970s. He was especially close with David Bowie, taking on the role of his official photographer. In addition to capturing Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust era and shooting the cover to 1973’s Pin Ups, Rock directed videos for “Space Odyssey,” “Life on Mars?,” “Jean Genie” and “I’m Only Dancing.”
In addition to his frequent collaborations with Bowie, Rock worked with Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry, and T. Rex during the 1970s. His work appeared on several of the decade’s most well recognized album covers: Lou Reed’s Transformer and Coney Island Baby, Iggy and the Stooges’ Raw Power, and Queen’s Queen II, which, in turn, inspired the visual for “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Born in 1948, Mick Rock grew up in London and developed his photography interests going to concerts as a young man. Further stretching beyond the music world, Rock shot production stills for The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. He maintained his photography pursuits well beyond the 1970s, later capturing subjects like Daft Punk, Snoop Dogg, Miley Cyrus, and many more. He published several books of his work, including 2015’s The Rise of David Bowie: 1972-1973. In 2016, he was the subject of the documentary Shot! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock.