Though she died seven years ago last month, Amy Winehouse continues to be a source of public fascination. In the new book Amy Winehouse ($40; Taschen), the troubled singer is seen in a series of informal, intimate photos taken by her close friend, American photographer Blake Wood.
“This is not the doom-and-gloom false narrative portrayed in the media,” Wood says of the book. “She was a brilliant, loving soul who made amazing personal triumphs, and these images capture that.”
Wood met Winehouse in 2008, shortly after he moved to London. Winehouse was at the height of her celebrity, with her album Back to Black garnering five Grammy awards that same year. Over the next few years, the pair bonded personally and creatively, with Wood documenting Winehouse during her happier, less-publicized moments.
“With these photos, I want to change the conversation around Amy,” Wood told Dazed. “I think even when I was with her at that time, among all that press, among all the questions and all the judgement, I always tried to instill in people who she was at her core, and not any of these other things that they were trying to create.”
Wood’s pictures show Winehouse playing drums in her home studio, smirking at a bowling alley, and enjoying the seclusion of a beach in Saint Lucia—a stark contrast to the barrage of paparazzi photos that were covering the tabloids at the time. With text by pop culture journalist Nancy Jo Sales, the book explores a relaxed, more peaceful side of the beloved singer.