George Hurrel / Courtesy Marc Balet
Robert Hayes was in the vanguard of the new glamour photography of the 1970s. In the social sphere of that time, there was a new meritocracy at work in which uptown flirted with downtown at Studio 54, where sports figures mixed with debutantes, who in turn mixed with business tycoons and Eurotrash at Andy Warhol's Factory. As lnterview's managing editor, Robert Hayes, with his Canadian small-town naiveté and gentle manner, had a perfect vision for the time. Robert loved photography, and the magazine provided a unique platform for his mixture of high and low culture. We would refer to Robert as being from the "more is more" school: One more piece of jewelry or tulle would surely improve upon the quality of a picture. But Robert was also steeped in the stark simplicity of the Hollywood golden age. The portrait of him by Hurrell, which was his prized possession, represents the old glamour that Robert had seen and loved in the movies growing up as a boy in Halifax. He also understood the modern photographic aesthetic: a heavy dose of attitude and an elegance that could transform a drag queen, sports figure, or starlet with equal élan. Robert brought this to the magazine by cultivating new talent. Like Andy, he would always give the young person a chance. His precise articulation and his patience in explaining what he wanted in a picture could have fantastic results. We miss him.
Gael Love and Marc Balet former editor in chief and art director of Interview. (Love now works with the Hearst Corporation in magazine development and Balet is a principal in the advertising firm of Balet & Albert.)
Robert Hayes died at age 32 in 1985.