Anton Corbijn is a Dutch film and music video director and a photographer born on 20th May 1955. For three decades, he did promotional and cover photography for musical bands, U2 and Depeche Mode. His younger brother Maarten Corbijn is a director and photographer and his Grandfather was an art teacher, where as his father worked for the church and his mother was a nurse.
When he saw Herman Brood, a musician playing in Groningen’s café, Corbijn became interested in doing photography for the world of music and this was the year when he started photography. He took many photographs of Brood and as a result Corbijn became increasingly exposed, in a good way.
Following this, in 1974 he joined a one and half year photography course. After this, he worked for Gijabert Hanekroot as an assistant in Amsterdam. In 1976, he decided to work independently and later for a while became the head photographer for OOR, a Dutch magazine for pop music.
In 1979, he went to London and there he worked with New Musical Express (NME). He was in association with NME till 1985. Corbijn loved music and photography.
He photographed celebrities, such as Tom Waits, David Bowie, Miles Davis, Joy Division, Elvis Costello, Stephen Hawking, Kim Wilde, Björk, The Cramps, Clint Eastwood, Simple Minds, Herbert Grönemeyer, Prāta Vētra, Morrissey, and many others.
Anton Corbijn began directing music videos in 1983. He has directed videos, such as Do I Have to Say the Words by Bryan Adams, Heart Shaped Box by Nirvana. In 2010, he directed the film, The American starring George Clooney. He has directed more than 60 videos and photographed for 100 album sleeves. He has taken pictures for the album covers of Nick Cave, Metallica, The Rolling Stones, The Killers, R.E.M., Moke, Saybia, The Bee Gees, Bon Jovi, and Therapy.
His photographs of Miles Davis, David Bowie, and Captain Beefheart are notorious worldwide. Post 1985, he produced works for magazines, like Esquire, Stern, W, Rolling Stone, and Elle.
Corbijn is the most recognized portraitist in the music industry as well as in the media industry encompassing all artistic fields. He has shot portraits of Kate Moss, Quentin Tarantino, Dennis Hopper, Michael Stipe, William S. Burroughs, Wim Wenders, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and several others.
For his work, Corbijn won two award by MTV for Heart Shaped Box, a music video by Nirvana. In 1994, he made a short film, Some YOYO Stuff for BBC .
He regularly contributed his work to a punk style magazine on music, known as The Face. He was famous for his black and white photos. In 1989, he started doing color photography and tried the technique of using filters for Sioxsie Sioux, an English song writer and singer.
From 1998 until 2000, he worked with Marlene Dumas, a painter, on a project titled Stripping Girls. Amsterdam’s peep shows and strip clubs were the subject of this series.
In a novel by William Gibson, titled Spook Country, the author has referred to Corbijn’s portrait of Hollis Henry.
Corbijn’s style of photography gives a raw look than a glamorous one to his subjects. In the late 20th century, his style of producing black and white photos using grainy films became an important part of the visual culture and was copied greatly.
He has published many books, including Famouz, 1989; Strangers, 1990; Allegro, 1991; 33 Still Lives, 1999; Werk, 2000; Everybody Hurts, 2003; U2 and I, 2005; and etc.