The Platinum Egg 1985: Arne Nilsson.

Everchanging moods, relentless self-criticism, bespoke flannel suits, a passion for biscuits … he was uncompromising always, in both his professional and private life. He never stopped adjusting his lighting. Could keep at it for hours. At his house on Gotland he would bark at tradesmen not just for showing up too late but also too early. Arne Nilsson was a handsome 18 year old when the Bonnier sisters helped get him a job at Åhlen & Åkerlund’s photo agency Kamerabild in 1947.... He emptied the dustbins, trimmed photos, rescued the photographers’ cameras from the pawnshop. He opened a photo studio with Lars Nordin in 1952 and struck out on his own six years later, focussing on fashion until the late 1960s. Then it was advertising, photography and film, for which he won Grand Prix and Gold in Cannes and Venice. Arne Nilsson mastered it all: homely still lifes, achingly slender models, entire aircraft fuselages. Daily, the advertising elite passed through his studio on Döbelnsgatan in Stockholm, 600 square metres on two floors, ruled over by his wife Ingegerd. In 1985, he was awarded the Platinum Egg – the first photographer to receive it. Alf Mork took pen in hand after Arne’s too-early departure eight years later: “Photographer Arne Nilsson and Federico Fellini have left the stage too early, both in the same week. Two giants who meant so much to everyone involved in image production have shuffled off this mortal coil. For Arne, every job was the most important event in world history at the moment of creation. He was one of the greatest lighting artists in Sweden or the world. A great man, an artist and a loyal friend.”

Le Salon des refusés: the photo of a man and a crocodile in a bathtub belongs to a not uncommon genre at advertising agencies – work that a client refused, usually because it was too daring/risqué. In this case, Arbmans pitched a campaign for a major bank that wanted to get customers to take a loan to buy a pet. Arne Nilsson was the photographer. The version that was approved depicted a dog.