Kate Garner, the 80s pop musician from band Haysi Fantayzee, turned fashion photographer, has released two iconic Kate Moss photos which are for sale for around £1000. The shots were taken on the same day early in her meteoric career. Known as the teddy bear pictures, (see below) Garner explained; “She turned up for the shoot wearing a very small denim mini skirt, her boyfriends underpants (she hadn’t been home from the night before) and a little vest top. She managed to look adorable and chic!! The picture of her on the floor in the window light was taken without the skirt on, just the underpants and vest, no make-up, hair unbrushed, having her morning cig and cup of tea….and looking incredible beautiful. So often the out-takes from a shoot are the most beautiful. The hat and sweater picture was later in the day. Prob the 2nd cigarette and cup of tea in a local cafe.”
Kate Garner was born in Wigan, a town in the NW of England, near Liverpool & Manchester. I left when I was 16. I ran away to London where I was “captured” by Californian Jesus Freaks. I escaped & travelled overland to India through Europe & Asia where I stayed for 8 months. When I came back to my home town I met someone on the street who said they were going to college to study photography. I thought I’d go there next. It was the first time I’d really enjoyed school. I left 2 years later, after getting the highest marks for our end of term show. I took assisting jobs in London & Manchester but mainly with larger advertising studios which were not inspiring, although I learned how to work hard!
I was making music at the same time and met Paul Caplin who had a rehearsal studio above a photographic studio I worked in. At the same time I met Jeremy Healy. Together we formed Haysi Fantayzee & signed to R.C.A. records. Our first record went top 10 in England and Europe and we became very famous, very quickly. After performing for about 2 years we were really not enjoying being in the public eye. We disbanded and gradually I began to take pictures professionally. My first proper photography job was to shoot most of Sinead O’Connor’s press and album sleeves….”
After Haysi Fantayzee disbanded in 1983 and a brief solo stint, Kate Garner continued photography full-time and established herself quickly as a successful photographer, working over a period of time with Sinéad O’Connor, creating memorable images of O’Connor including working on her 1987 debut, The Lion and the Cobra. She has photographed many other celebrities like Dr Dre, Leigh Bowery, JT Leroy, Angelina Jolie, David Bowie, Cameron Diaz, PJ Harvey, John Galliano, Björk, and Kate Moss.
Kate found herself over time phasing out fashion photography in favor of more dark-artistic creative endeavors. When asked to describe the surreal, flamboyant imagery in her current fine art collection, Garner states, “It depicts the humour, joy and beauty of what people mistakenly call ‘dark’ so I call it ‘Jolly Darkness’.” Much of her avant-garde work can be seen on Garner’s website, kategarner.org.
Her work has appeared in the American and British versions of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Kate has also worked for GQ, Vanity Fair, Elle, Sunday Times and is a continuing contributor to i-D magazine. She has shown her work all across Europe and North America, include a recent gala Sony-sponsored retrospective of Garner’s imagery in London. Today Kate continues to work on new photographic art and music with her label, iDIOt Records.
Main Photo: Kate Garner: Kate Moss II