After a chance encounter as a young UCLA student in the ’60s with the artist David Hockney, Peter Schlesinger was soon catapulted into the raconteur’s bohemian coterie. Schlesinger, a sculptor and painter in his own right who posed for many of Hockney’s kinetic portraits and pool works, found himself living in swinging London and palling around with the likes of Cecil Beaton, Andy Warhol, and Paloma Picasso, all the while snapping pictures, first with a Pentax and then a Contax SLR camera. A new book, Peter Schlesinger: A Photographic Memory 1968-1989 (Damiani), presents more than 20 years of images from Schlesinger’s archives. The collection of intimate portraits, still lifes, and documentation of glamorous parties, yacht trips off Saint-Tropez, and outings to Provence and North Africa are as much artifacts of a lost era of freewheeling excess as they are fully formed studies of color and composition constructed through Schlesinger’s astute eye. He crafts a potent visual memoir of a youth well spent.
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