ANTON CORBIJN IS A DUTCH PHOTOGRAPHER AND FILMMAKER, BORN IN STRIJEN IN 1955. HE’S ALWAYS BEEN CHARMED BY MUSIC AND ARTISTS. HIS CAREER BEGAN REALLY SOON, HE WAS JUST 17-YEAR-OLD WHEN HE SHOT THE DUTCH BAND SOLUTION DURING A GIG.
Corbijn grew up in the 70’s, a turning point both for social and music scenes. Musical genres such as hard and progressive rock were very popular in the UK, followed by punk culture and disco music a few years later. In 1979 Anton leaves the Netherlands to move to London, the English core of musical production, making the most important choice of his life. It was the same year “London Calling” was released, the album that made The Clash famous overseas in the United States.
In the mid 80s he began working with several magazines, (Elle, Rolling Stone, Vogue, Max and Glamour to name a few), photographing mostly celebrities, musicians and actors. He portrays a variety of stars, for the likes of David Bowie, U2, R.E.M., Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Nirvana, Tom Waits, Joy Division, Rolling Stones, Depeche Mode, Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Depp, Naomi Campbell and many more.
He built his career thanks to the most successful bands and artists of the music. His relationship with the artists goes beyond the working collaboration, always creating a close human relationship and personal bond with them. His portraits are permeated by an authentic and iconic beauty; few times the subjects are posing, they seems almost taken aback by the photographer during their daily activities. Corbijn says he’s attracted by these small details, such as the way people smoke or walk, because everyone has his own. And it’s on these small things that the artist works, realizing not only a photographic portrait, but portraying the soul hidden deep behind the subject.
His photos are almost always black and white, in order to give to the subject a slightly melancholic aura, timeless beauty and charm. Many of his pictures are taken in motion blur, to give movement to the image.
Anton Corbijn is not only a photographer but also a film-maker. He started directing videoclip, and one of his first videos, (Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box”), won the MTV Video Music Awards in 1994. He also directed music videos for Depeche Mode, Metallica, Johnny Cash, The Killers, Coldplay and many more.
Corbijn commit himself to the movie scene in 2007, producing his first film, “Control”, biopic based on Joy Divisions’ lead singer Ian Curtis’ life. At the moment he has produced five films; two based on events that in some way saw him personally involved. With “Control” he had an emotional bond, while with in “Life” he tells the story of the friendship between a fellow photographer, Dennis Stock, and Hollywood star James Dean.
Text Daniela Lumastro