Photographer Nitin Vadukul, who created surreal and eerie images for commercial, editorial and music clients, died February 17 in New York City, according to The New York Times. His brother, photographer Max Vadukul, told The Times the cause of death was colorectal cancer.
Born Nitin Shantilal Vadukul in Nairobi in 1965 to parents of Indian heritage, he grew up in a suburb of London and began shooting photos as a teenager. He began his photography career working in a London special effects studio in the 1980s. Much of his early commercial work for clients such as Wace and BNP featured composites—created first using Paintbox and then, in the 1990s, with Photoshop. “Effects just for effects aren’t interesting,” he told PDN in 1993. “I use them in unconventional ways to get ideas across.”
He moved from London to Paris in 1990, and shot for international advertising clients. In the mid-1990s, he moved to New York, and brought his flamboyant, surreal conceptual style to portraits of actors and music industry icons he photographed for magazines such as Details, Rolling Stone, The Source and New York magazine, and for record labels. His subjects included Ozzy Osbourne, Rick Rubin, Dr. Dre and Eminem. Some of his music photos were included in Hip Hop Immortals, published in 2003 and in the 2012 exhibition “Who Shot Rock & Roll” at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles.
After 20 years in New York City, he moved to Los Angeles in 2015.
According to The Times, he is survived by his brother and sister, his mother, and two children.
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