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Amy Winehouse

by Blake Wood

Photographer Blake Wood met Amy Winehouse at the peak of her career, and for two years they became inseparable friends. This collection of NFTs records their time together, spanning private moments in London, Paris, and St. Lucia. These previously unseen photographs capture a rare and lighter side of this much-missed icon, and are an intimate homage to Winehouse as she wanted to see herself.

Amy Winehouse #1 - Memorial

Amy had a unique bond with the horses that we rode in Saint Lucia. Riding on the beach and through trails gave her a sense of freedom that she longed for. This portrait was taken in the afternoon as we waited for the rest of our group to join us.

Plantation Beach, Saint Lucia 2009

Note: This photograph appears on the book cover of 'Amy Winehouse. Blake Wood' published by TASCHEN. This is a dynamic NFT that autonomously fades to a memorial in July and back to the portrait in mid-September, as a remembrance of Amy's life.

©Blake Wood 2022 All rights reserved

Amy Winehouse #2 -

Peace

Dionne, Amy’s goddaughter, brought out the inner child in us all. We played on the beach by the Caribbean Sea with her often. Dionne packed the sand as Amy unwound from any stress that lingered.

Cariblue Beach, Saint Lucia 2009

Note: A print of this photograph is held in the permanent collection at the National Portrait Gallery London.

©Blake Wood 2022 All rights reserved

Amy Winehouse #3 - Siren

Karl Lagerfeld was very fond of Amy and invited her to perform at the reopening of the Fendi store in Paris. At first, the serious fashion crowd was unsure of her but she won them over quickly with her wit and effortlessly serenaded them like a rare bird.

Fendi Store, Paris 2008

©Blake Wood 2022 All rights reserved

Amy Winehouse #4 - Monument

Amy loved classic 1950’s pin-up girl poses. While we walked along the ocean that morning, she climbed up on a rock at the edge of the water and asked me to capture her posed in a similar fashion.

Plantation Beach Saint Lucia 2009

Note: This photograph was Amy's favorite image that Blake Wood took of her and was the only portrait of herself that she owned and displayed in her home.

©Blake Wood 2022 All rights reserved

Icon Collection

The Icon Collection represents the heart at the center of the images created by Blake Wood, that were taken over the years of his friendship with Amy Winehouse. This first group of portraits are considered the most important and historically significant photographs in this rare collection. All works within the Icon Collection are dynamic NFTs with film-like features that develop uniquely on every load and autonomous temporal transformations in their code.

That Brilliant, Loving Light

Blake Wood and Amy Winehouse met, at a mutual friend introduced him to her in January of 2008. He was a 22-year-old aspiring photographer from Vermont, and she was a 24-year-old recording artist already being heralded as one of the greatest singer-songwriters of all time.  The bond between Blake and Amy began the day they met.  “We got swept up in each other very quickly, and it was very joyful,” he remembers.

The deep sense of intimacy seen in the photographs in this collection suggests the closeness of these two unlikely friends. And though they may be artful, striking photos, they are just that—photos taken by a friend of someone who happened to be incredibly famous. But fame is not the subject here as much as the friendship between the photographer and model. Here is Amy Winehouse, looking into the lens of someone she trusted and loved.

It was on Saint Lucia that he took most of the photographs in this collection, using a mixture of old film cameras and formats like Super 8 and Polaroid, to capture the feeling of a vintage family vacation. In these photographs, we no longer see Amy the star, outfitted in her branded look. The harsher images of Amy seen in many of the most famous paparazzi shots of her gives way to a healthy-looking Amy, riding a horse and enjoying a natural setting.

In these very personal photos, we see a young woman who is feeling relaxed and strong and, above all, at ease with the person behind the camera. She stares into his lens, revealing a well of emotions at the bottom of her troubles; other times, she appears as mischievous and gleeful as Blake says she often could be, capturing her natural beauty.

Tragically, Amy’s good period couldn’t make up for the years of abuse her body had endured, and on July 23, 2011, she passed away at her home in London. She left behind two of the most important albums in recent music history. And Blake had shot a handful of the most intimate photographs of her ever taken.

“I wanted her to stay so bad and live and be old with me,” Blake says. “We had all these plans. We were going to go on a road trip across America and visit Dollywood. She told me, ‘We’re gonna be laughing on our rocking chairs together someday.’”  “She was love in a human form, I truly loved her,” he says. “She was someone who embodied love in the purest way. She really helped people around her connect to that goodness and that love in them. This work lived in my closet; I had to shut it away because it was too painful to look at. But now, I want people to see the person that I knew—that light, that brilliant, loving light.” 

Excerpt from the forward of the book ‘Amy Winehouse. Blake Wood’ written by Nancy Jo Sales.

Curated Collection

The Curated Collection is a culmination of their time together, rare moments and an intimate view of a friendship. This collection combines dynamic and still portraits.

© 2022 Blake Wood. All rights reserved

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Portrait of Blake and Amy by Jesse Jenkins