It was Astrid who broke the news of Stuart’s sudden death to John when the Beatles returned to Hamburg in April 1962, and during that visit she photographed John and George in the attic at her house—the room where Stuart had made his paintings.
She photographed the Beatles later in 1962 at Reinhart Wolf’s studio with the classic four piece line up which now included Ringo. Astrid shot the band against a traditional studio paper-roll backdrop, making use of some of Reinhart Wolf’s studio props—a gothic chair and candelabra. Out are the leathers and quiffs, in are the matching suits and haircuts. Things were about to go stratospheric for Astrid’s boys.
Astrid worked with them again in 1964 on the set of A Hard Day’s Night, and, a few years later as a special favour to George (her second favourite Beatle after Stuart) she made a portrait of him for his 1968 Wonderwall album.
I feel very lucky to have worked with Astrid since the early days of the gallery. One of my cherished possessions is a print she made for me many years ago from that late 1962 studio session, on which she wrote me a special message.
Astrid’s assured and innovative self-portrait, one of my favourite photographs, heads up this news item. For me it encapsulates her style and creativity. The decision to suspend that branch from the ceiling in her self portrait is a pure example of her acute sense how to fill space. Astrid passed away on the afternoon of Tuesday 12 May 2020, and she leaves a space that can’t be filled. Hers was a special talent, and her photographs are immortal. Thank you Astrid. We will miss you.
As a mark of respect, we have suspended sales of Astrid’s photographs.