Alice Cooper ‘Love it to Death’ Photographer Dies
Photographer Roger Prigent, whose album cover shots included Alice Cooper‘s ‘Love It to Death,’ has passed away at the age of 89 after suffering a stroke that left him in a coma.
Prigent rose to prominence in the 1950s, kicking off a nearly three-decade stint as a fashion photographer for magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, McCall’s and The Ladies’ Home Journal — as well as TV Guide, where his work appeared regularly on the cover. He was also in demand among rock stars, building a client list that included everyone from Barbra Streisand to Cooper, who memorialized Prigent’s death by reposting the New York Times’ obituary piece on his personal site.
The cover photo for ‘Love it to Death’ caused some controversy when it was released, as it featured Cooper positioning his thumb so as to make it look like he was displaying his, well, you can figure it out. Warner Brothers eventually released a censored version of the album.
After being diagnosed with macular degeneration in the late ’70s, Prigent shifted gears into a new career as an antiques dealer, becoming one of New York’s most prominent antiquarians and helping re-popularize French Empire furnishings along the way. While he eventually lost his sight completely, and auctioned off the bulk of his collection in 2002, he remained defiantly upbeat; he’s quoted in the NYT obituary as saying at the time, “I don’t know what I’ll do next, but I don’t like habits and things like that. I’m not nostalgic.”