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Nov 24, 2016

Anton Corbijn – Fotografiska

Anton Corbijn 1-2-3-4

Corbijn dares to challenge the rich and famous

Anton Corbijn recently had a exhibition at Fotografiska in Stockholm. I’m a great fan of Corbijns work. I really enjoy his artistic approach. And that he dare to challenge the artists image and expression. Not too many gets away with putting on a silly hat on Keith Richards, dress out U2 to a bunch of stoned women or turn Metallica in to robbers! It takes a long time to build up that kind of trust. All respect to Anton for that.

What I mostly enjoyed with this exhibition is that it was a great variation of photographs and people. And that it wasn’t a “best of”-showing. All photos weren’t great. But that was okay, like a paus between the outstanding work. I also enjoy that most work are in black and white and all of a sudden pops up a colorful odd photo. Like surprise Jack in the Box. Corbijn is a master of contrasts and brilliant photographer of taking crappy pictures. Like most photographers today it’s so much about perfection that it kind of loses it’s soul. Anton got soul!

PM goes Anton CorbijnHope you enjoy the photos below as much as I did. Even though the can never beat the feeling of being there in real life.

If you where there I’d love to hear your thoughts about the exhibition.

Exhibition grade: PPPP


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As a comment stated that most photos of women is either nude or more or less without clothing. Which is kind of a cliché and dated way of portraying a woman. I can think of a numerous ways of getting exciting photos with something on. This definitely brings down the grade of the exhibition. The weirdness could also been taken a step or two. But still a wonderful exhibition. Corbijn is always Corbijn. 


“The Rock Photographer”

Anton Corbijn (b. 1955, Strijen, Netherlands) has, since the middle of the 70s, carved out a unique position for himself in the history of photographic portraiture. With his distinct visual style, curiosity and passion for art and music, his influence on the visual expression and identity of several of the world’s greatest rock bands and musicians has been immeasurable. With their contrasting interfusion of light and shade, tenderness and hardness, ans a sense of imperfection, Corbijn’s photographs are a far cry from the polished portraits that dominate popular culture. Often erroneously labelled a rock photographer, Anton Corbijn has famously portrayed a great number of painters, writers, actors, directors and other people who impressed him. However, it is his unparalleled portrayal of and relationship in out contemporary age and this exhibition is a celebration of the unique position he holds in that world.


The power of camera

Regarding himself as a portrait photographer, his passion for photography was aroused through music, which, during his conservative and religious upbringing, provided him with a sense of freedom and became the key to a world of likeminded people. The young, shy Anton Corbijn discovered that the camera allowed him to approach musicians and gain access to a world that he wanted to be part of. After moving to London in 1979, Corbijn became the main photograper for the New Musical Express, at the time arguably the most important weekly music magazine in the world. He portrayed many of the greatest musicians and debutants of the time for NME. Some of these meetings resulted in collaborations that came to stretch over several years. In contrast to his photographic predecessors who usually depicted musicans just as they were. Corbijn turned himself into a creator who translated their musical vision into images in a way that was congenial to the music and its visual aspects. In his hands, many rock bands received a new identity that came to define their public image. That Corbijn has been described as the invisible member of both Depeche Mode and U2, with whom he has collaborated for over three decades, bears testimony to the important role he has played in their careers.



For this exhibition titled 1-2-3-4 (like the countdown to a song) Corbijn selected images he re-discovered after going thru his entire back catalogue of contact sheets to present some 400 photographs spannning the mid 1970s to the mid 2000s, specifically but not exclusively, highlighting 12 of the bands and artist he has collaborated most intimately with. Consciously he has chosen not to make this a ‘best of’ as so many of these portraits have rarely or never been shown. Together they constitute a celebration of profilic career of 40 years and counting.

Text: Pauline Benthede, Exhibition Manager Fotografiska



written by :Peter
  • Erik Fagerlund Nov 29, 2016 Reply

    Man får ju säga att Corbijn haft en enastående karriär med många stora ikoner framför kameran. Såg tyvärr inte utställningen på Fotografiska men som vanligt är jag lite lagom less på svartvitt fotografi (vilket han oftast fotograferar i) men gillar ändå hans stundvis roliga men ändå melankoliska bilder, utklädande ibland till ära. Med en bitvis ganska rå anti-glamour stil och med en stor släng av mystik som fungerar extra bra med musiker som motiv har han levererat en radda bilder jag inte bara ser på Museum utan absolut kan ha på väggen hemma.
    Dock lite tråkigt att han förutom en del lättklätt knappt porträtterat några kvinnor.
    På Erikgillar-skalan får hans bilder en mycket stark 3a på en 0-5-skala.
    ? Kanske mest för att han inte är tillräckligt konstig.

    • :Peter Nov 29, 2016 Reply

      Bra reflektion, att kvinnor måste vara lättklädda eller nakna för att skapa en intressant bild. Nu måste jag göra en komplettering i mitt inlägg och revidera mitt betyg. Well spotted.

      Ja, lite safe och bekväm har han nog allt blivit. Tycker också han hade kunnat ta ut svängarna i det konst-iga. Har man den pondusen i branschen som han har kan man alltid ta det ett steg längre. Eller två.

      Tack för bra och intressant svar, Erik!

  • Micael Melander Nov 29, 2016 Reply

    Jag såg utställningen och utgångspunkten är att jag gillar Corbijn för hans oputsade stil som andas spontanitet även i bilder som är uppenbart arrangerade (som t.ex. U2-bilden med bandmedlemmarna snett bakom sina pappor). Precis som Erik reagerade jag på genusaspekten, vilket jag inte gjort innan jag besökte utställningen. Corbijn experimenterar lekfullt med den normativa manligheten, men i de jämförelsevis få bilderna av kvinnor är det som vanligt kroppen som står i centrum. Lite känns det som att hans blick och kreativitet domnar när han får en kvinna framför kameran. Men en sevärd utställning none the less!

    • :Peter Nov 29, 2016 Reply

      Jag reagerade inte heller på genusaspekten. Men håller fullständigt med om den. Jag tror jag blev lite förblindad av helheten. Det var mycket att ta in. Även mycket som inte var speciellt märkvärdigt – vilket jag dock kände som en paus mellan de storslagna bilderna.

      Den stora behållningen med hans bilder är just skitigheten. Vilket också är skönt att betrakta med tanke på all perfektion idag. Klart bilderna är superarrangerade även om det finns en viss spontanitet i dem. Måste vara en spännande kreativ process med dessa människor framför sin kamera.

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