Photographer Brodsky dies

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STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) – Joel Brodsky, whose photography created the iconic images used on hundreds of music album covers, has died at age 67, his daughter said.

Brodsky died March 1 in Stamford of a heart attack, his daughter, Jill Holt, said Saturday. He had moved to Connecticut about five years ago from Manhattan.

One of Brodsky’s best-known works was the black-and-white image of a shirtless, unsmiling Jim Morrison on “The Best of the Doors.” It was immortalized in posters and other memorabilia, and was praised for capturing Morrison’s intensity and sexuality.

Brodsky even had the image etched into the prosthesis he started using after losing part of one leg to diabetes several years ago, Holt said.

Brodsky also bestowed a name on the fake leg: Dexter.

“He had a really good sense of humor, even about Dexter,” said Holt, of North Salem, N.Y.

Some of Brodsky’s other notable images included the cover of Van Morrison’s “Astral Weeks” and the 1974 self-titled debut for the rock band Kiss. In all, he did photography for more than 400 album covers, largely for rock, blues and soul performers.

Brodsky, who was born in Brooklyn, started working in a camera store after graduating from Syracuse University in 1960 and opened his own studio in Brooklyn a few years later.

In 1966, he shot the Jim Morrison photos that established his reputation as a visual artist who could portray moods ranging from contemplative to surreal and edgy.

His picture of Isaac Hayes in 1971 for the “Black Moses” album won raves, both for the image of Hayes in a striped robe and sunglasses and for the design in which the cover unfolded in the shape of a cross.

Holt said her father’s favorite image was his photograph of Booker T & the MG’s, walking across McLemore Avenue in Memphis in a scene reminiscent of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” cover.

Brodsky retired in 2001 after years of commercial photography work for several companies.

He continued to work with images and technology, however, and particularly enjoyed tinkering with his two iPods and other devices, Holt said.

Brodsky, a New York Knicks fan with a quirky sense of humor, especially enjoyed when his family members competed to find him the most off-color birthday cards, Holt said.

He is survived by his wife, Valerie, of Stamford; Holt and two other daughters, Alexandra Alland of Boston and Brooke, of Manhattan; and one sister and three grandchildren.

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