Anton Corbijn

Anton Corbijn (b. Strijen, 1955) has had a major influence on international music and portrait photography. The creative, off-beat way he has photographed performing artists since the 1970s has become his personal trademark. His striking portraits strip away the mask, often at lightning speed, to reveal another aspect of the subject’s personality. Or, indeed, they impose literal masks, as in the case of the Rolling Stones, U2 and Arcade Fire, to lend the subjects an almost mythic aura.

Lasting partnerships of the kind that he has had with many singers and bands are a rarity in the music world. His working relationship with U2 and Depeche Mode (DM), for example, goes right back to the early eighties and there is good reason why Corbijn is often called the fifth member of U2 or the fourth of DM. The pictures, album covers and video clips he has produced over the years have had a major influence on the images of those and many other bands. For Depeche Mode he has gone further, designing not only the band’s logos and record covers, but also (since 1993) their stage sets.

Today, Corbijn also works as a director of music videos (since 1983) and feature films (since 2007). One of his first movies as director includes Control (2007), a biopic on the tortured life of Ian Kevin Curtis, singer of Joy Division. In his last movie, Life (2015), he tells the story of photographer Robert Pattinson, obsessed with James Dean.



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