Read an exclusive interview with Gered Mankowitz
Gered Mankowitz was born in London England to the late author, playwright, and film writer Wolf Mankowitz and his wife, the psychoanalyst Ann Mankowitz, on August 3 1946. Having displayed an innate talent for photography while on a school trip to Holland, his photographs were seen by the legendary photographer Tom Blau, who offered Gered an apprenticeship at his famous photo agency, Camera Press.
In 1962, Gered went to Barbados with his family and began taking photographs professionally. Gered was offered a chance to go to Paris to photograph the collections upon his return from the trip, working for the fashion photographer Alec Murray, and when he returned to London he went to work for the ‘show-biz’ portraitist, Jeff Vickers for whom he took many portraits of actors and other personalities. In 1963, Gered began photographing artists within the music industry at a time when it desperately needed new and more exciting images to grace album covers and posters alike. At the end of 1963 Gered opened his first studio at 9 Masons Yard in the heart of London’s West End. Within a few months Gered had already begun to make a name for himself, and he was approached to photograph Marianne Faithful, who had just had a big hit with “As Tears Go By”. Through Marianne he met her manager and producer Andrew Loog Oldham and in 1965, Oldham asked Gered to photograph the Rolling Stones, who he also managed and produced. This was a major turning point in Gered’s career and his image served as the cover for “Out of Our Heads” (U.S. title “December’s Children”). Gered continued working with the Stones as their ‘official’ photographer, producing photos for albums (“Between the Buttons”; “Got Live If You Want It”; “Big Hits”; and several others).
Through the 60’s, Gered continued to photograph many major artists including Jimi Hendrix, Free, Traffic, The Yardbirds, The Small Faces, Soft Machine; and through the 70’s with Slade, Gary Glitter, Suzi Quatro, Sweet, Elton John, Kate Bush, Eurythmics, ABC, Duran Duran and amongst others.
In 1982 Gered had a major exhibition of his work at London’s famous Photographers’ Gallery, an exhibition that toured the U.K. for over 2 years. In 1984 a book based on this exhibition, called “Hit Parade”, was published in the U.K. and U.S.A. Also in 1984 a book of his Rolling Stones photographs, called “Satisfaction”, was published. Both books were very well received, and as a result there began the growing interest in the Gered Mankowitz archive.
Over the last 20 years Gered has been based at his North London studio, a converted Victorian chapel, taking prize-winning photos for the advertising industry. He has also been a regular contributor to several major publications, and still works occasionally in the music business photographing bands and singers. Gered has participated in many solo and group exhibitions around the globe including having several images in the “Icons of Pop” exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery in London, and has published many books of his iconic images. Most recently, in 2003 he published a book of new portraits to celebrate 40 years as a photographer. Gered continues to live and work in London.