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Gered Mankowitz Biography

Gered Mankowitz was born in London, England, on 3rd August 1946. The first of four sons of the late author, playwright and film writer Wolf Mankowitz and his wife, the Jungian psychotherapist Ann Mankowitz.

After an education of sorts at several London co-educational “progressive” schools, he left at 15, avoiding all exams and completed his education devoid of any formal qualifications. Having displayed a natural ‘eye’ for photography whilst on a school trip to Holland, Mankowitz was inspired to take up photography by the actor Peter Sellers. His photographs were eventually seen by the legendary photographer Tom Blau, who offered the young Mankowitz an apprenticeship at his famous photo agency, Camera Press Ltd., in London. Over a period of several months he worked in all the various departments that made up Camera Press, finally moving to the studio and going on various assignments in and around London.

Within a few months Mankowitz had already begun to make a name for himself, and was approached to photograph Marianne Faithful, who had just had a big hit with As Tears Go By. Working closely with Marianne he got to know her manager and producer Andrew Loog Oldham. In early 1965, Oldham asked him to photograph the Rolling Stones, who he also managed and produced. This was a major turning point in Mankowitz’ career, because from this first session came the cover for Out of Our Heads, and as a result he was asked by the Stones to go to America with them on their record breaking 1965 Autumn Tour. During this 9 week (48 City) tour of the U.S. he photographed the Stones on stage and off, and got particularly close to Keith and Charlie.

There were many adventures as he found himself on the road with the greatest rock band in the world at the peak of their original success. Mankowitz continued working with the Stones as their ‘official’ photographer until 1967, producing photos for albums including Between the Buttons, Got Live If You Want It and Big Hits, and also for press and publicity shots taken at home, in the recording studio, on stage and behind the scene.

For the next forty years Mankowitz continued to work in the music industry and his portraits read like a who’s who of the key players at the time. Jimi Hendrix, Free, Traffic, The Yardbirds, The Small Faces, Soft Machine, Elton John, Slade, Suzi Quatro, Sweet, Kate Bush, The Jam, Eurythmics, ABC, Duran Duran and many more have looked down the lens of Mankowitz’ camera.

His work features prominently in The National Portrait Gallery and prints of Mankowitz’ work are purchased in galleries throughout the World including London, Glasgow, Berlin, Amsterdam, New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Dubai and Tokyo.

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