b.1936 - d.2019
SFAE is the exclusive representative of the Raj Prem Collection of photographs by Robert Freeman.
Robert Freeman is the photographer most closely associated with The Beatles because his imagery adorned five consecutive UK album covers during the peak years of "Beatlemania," 1963 to 1965. His work was featured on With The Beatles, A Hard Days Night, Beatles For Sale, Help! and Rubber Soul. He also designed and photographed the covers for John Lennon's two books In His Own Write (Simon & Schuster, 1964) and A Spaniard in the Works (Simon & Schuster, 1965) and the end credit sequences of their two films: A Hard Days Night and Help!.
Robert was quite young when he started photography – at the age of twelve. He went on to study literature at the University of Cambridge, graduating in 1959, and remained heavily influenced by the arts, leading him to produce photo-montages in a large format. He first came to prominence professionally in the early 1960s as a photo-journalist, working for The Sunday Times where he photographed many public figures including Nikita Khruschev inside the Kremiln.
In 1963 he photographed the Pirelli Calendar which would soon become a major media event. His favorite assignment by that time however, was capturing American Jazz musicians, including John Coltrane, at a music festival in London. It was these photographs that caught the eye of Brian Epstein and secured his first commission with The Beatles for their upcoming album.
Freeman was especially close with John Lennon during the years he worked with The Beatles. He and his wife Sonny lived in the flat underneath John, Cynthia and Julian when they all lived at 13 Emperor's Gate in London. In the later 1960s Freeman directed films and continued his work in Fashion Photography.
Freeman moved to Hong Kong in 1977, traveled through much of Asia taking photographs, and formed his own production company. He then returned to England in 1986 where he organized the photographic book, The Beatles, A Private View. In 1992, he moved to Sevilla, Spain continuing his production of books and showing his original photography in gallery exhibitions.
His photographs, especially those of The Beatles, are highly sought-after by collectors due to the significant, personal relationship he shared with the band over a period of years, not to mention for his aesthetic contributions to the mutliple album covers they produced.
His work managed to embody The Beatles personal appeal during this key period of their rise to global super-stardom. In the foreword to Freeman's book, Paul McCartney speaks to this phenomenon, saying "Although many other people were taking photos of us at that time, I think we all felt that his stuff somehow summed up our own feelings. The photos were artistic without being pretentious, and yet they were commercial enough to be enjoyed by the ordinary fan on the street."
Please contact us with any inquires regarding Robert Freeman's work.
All prints are from the Raj Prem Collection, presented in association with Raj Prem Fine Art Photography.