Artist and photographer Eric Boman Is Remembered


Eric Boman, an artist, and photographer died on Thursday at the age of 76. His talent, creativity, and charisma laid the groundwork for a long and prosperous career.


Boman died of pancreatic cancer at Long Island Community Hospital in Patchogue, New York. A small, intimate memorial service has been planned.

After moving to New York with his longtime partner, Peter Schlesinger, in 1978, the blonde, outgoing photographer was not only a central figure in the London art, fashion, and social scenes of the 1970s and the decades that followed.


Schlesinger chose to remain silent on Friday after marrying Boman.

Because Schlesinger is a successful artist and writer, the couple’s 51-year marriage has brought together two creative minds. Even their early international success, however, had creative origins. Schlesinger was the artist David Hockney’s lover and muse. According to an article in the March issue of Town & Country, Boman and Schlesinger first met in London in 1971, shortly after the Mr. Chow premiere of Luchino Visconti’s classic film “Death in Venice.” Hockney and Schlesinger were invited by Andy Warhol’s business partner Fred Hughes, while Paloma Picasso invited Boman and Manolo Blahnik. Even though Hockney was reportedly not present, “this adorable boy [who] turned up at our table in a camel hair Ossie Clark coat,” according to Schlesinger, was the highlight of the party. The crew got a head start on the film (“Fred had no idea the film was going to be so long”) and had “many screwdrivers” before the crew members arrived, according to Schlesinger’s recollection in the article.


Boman was also a witty man, as evidenced by a remark he made to WWD in 1973 during an Ossie Clark fashion show at London’s Aretusa. Bianca Jagger, Nicky Weymouth, and Amanda Lear were all air-kissing Boman when he said, “I haven’t done the ‘B’ yet,” referring to the initials “E.I.” embroidered on his shirt.

Boman and Schlesinger relocated to a downtown New York City loft and became part of a community of artists, writers, and eccentrics that included Paloma Picasso, Manolo Blahnik, and Andy Warhol. Long before deciding to make photography his career, Boman was always carrying a Pentax camera with him when he went out with his friends. According to the profile, after receiving an illustration commission assignment from Anna Wintour (then at Harpers & Queen), Boman borrowed Schlesinger’s camera to take his first photos for Town & Country in 1972. Boman eventually went on to shoot editorials for British Vogue and design album covers for artists such as Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music.

“Eric was always so much fun to be around,” Wintour, Condé Nast’s chief content officer, and Vogue’s global editorial director wrote in an email on Friday. He was a true polymath who excelled in a variety of fields such as art, design, photography, and others. He was a fantastic chef and an even better photographer.

She went on to say that “he was funny — wickedly funny” and “had an innate sense of beauty,” describing his playful and elegant still-life images for Vogue. “Who can forget the bunny jumping into the pot?” someone once said. The iconic image of a stuffed rabbit leaping into a boiling pot with a carrot in its paw that accompanied the Vogue article “Is Rabbit the New Ethical Meat?” was referenced.

Gail Monaghan, a longtime friend, recalled that in the early 2000s, Boman asked if he could handle the photographs for the Rizzoli cookbook “Just Desserts,” which Monaghan was writing at the time. For the first time, Boman wanted to try his hand at food photography. “I would never have asked him to do it, and I couldn’t believe my luck when he volunteered,” she exclaimed. Finally, he created the layout for the book. I have to give him full credit for the book’s success and, without a doubt, its beauty. Because of his high standards, working with him was an intellectual and creative challenge.

Boman’s portfolio consists primarily of fashion photographs, but he also amassed a large body of personal work over the course of 45 years, which he primarily stored on 35 mm slides. Some of those artistic photographs were featured for the first time in the book “Eric Boman: A Wandering Eye: Photographs 1975-2005,” which was published in 2016. The worldly photographer chose the order and pairings for each chapter in the massive tome. A Moroccan glass merchant and a Tunisian brass merchant are mirror images of each other. A Swedish topiary and a tropical rainforest are featured in another pair. Boman placed a photograph of a sculpture honoring a Danish soldier next to one of a deserted Caribbean island.

Miko McGinty, the book’s designer, remarked that Boman “had so many other stories to tell through his archives.” He must have some incredible records in his collection. Of course, that was just the start.

In “Dames,” McGinty describes how much he enjoyed working with his subjects because of the bond he shared with them. Eric’s charisma and kindness are not adequately captured in photographs. The women in the portraits all exude confidence and strength. The photographs, on the other hand, convey an intimate sense of connection and presence. They give the impression of being vulnerable. Because Eric is the photographer, the conversation, poise, humor, and closeness all improve. The participants appeared to be having a good time. McGinty speculated that they were “probably laughing and having a fantastic conversation.”

Boman’s younger brother, whose name was not immediately available, and his wife of 67 years, Schlesinger, are among those who will miss him.

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