Zeno X Gallery is pleased to present #5, the new exhibition by Anton Corbijn (1955). It is the third time that work of this renowned photographer is presented in the gallery. The exhibition is a continuation of sorts of his recent retrospective entitled 1-2-3-4, which was recently on view in the Hague Museum of Photography, Fotografiska in Stockholm and C/O in Berlin. This exhibition presents works from the period 1990 to 2013.
After having spent his childhood in the Dutch Strijen, Corbijn leaves for London in 1979, in the footsteps of the musicians and bands he admires and wants to portray. In the period between 1972 and 1989, he will only shoot personalities from the music world. Later, numerous artists will become the subject of his photographs. He tries to get every artist whose work he admires in front of his camera – from the world of fashion, music, film or any other. About this, he himself says:
“Starting as a young, shy boy I was initially impressed by musicians, even on a local level. But very quickly I realised that I wanted to take pictures of people who, like me, have a feeling that what they create is the most important thing in their lives. It’s never about fame, and it does not matter if they express themselves with music, film, paintings… It’s about people who give everything. When I see that, I want to take a portrait of the person.”
One of the truly unique pictures in the exhibition is David Bowie (mask), Montreal. Corbijn directed the music video of Arcade Fire’s song ‘Reflektor’ from 2013, for which David Bowie provided vocals and whose mask can be seen at the end of the video. In the clip, the band members wear their own masks, which can also be seen in the photo Arcade Fire, Montreal, also presented in this exhibition.
Corbijn is still a convinced user of analogue photography, even if the printing is done digitally:
“I still work in analogue. There are some elements of digital photography that I don’t really like, such as the fact that you see the results immediately. I’ve always thought photography was a bit of an adventure so to come home with the film, develop it then look at the results has more of a sense of excitement. Digital changes your end results because if you think it’s not totally there then you are going to shoot it differently – you get the perfect image but that kills it for me as I like the imperfection. For square format I use a Hasselblad and for 35mm I use a Leica – they’re both beautiful cameras.”
In addition, Corbijn also works as a creative/artistic director for several bands such as, for instance, U2 and Depeche Mode. For many years, he has regularly directed their music videos and designed CD and record covers. As a kind of invisible member of the group, he has managed to portray these bands in a very intimate and innovative manner. In the past ten years, he has also directed the award-winning films ‘Control’ (2007), ‘The American’ (2010), ‘A Most Wanted Man’ (2014) and ‘Life’ (2015).
Anton Corbijn has had solo exhibitions at the Municipal Museum in The Hague, the Museum of Photography in The Hague, FoMu in Antwerp, S.M.A.K. Ghent, the Kestner Gesellschaft in Hannover, the Groninger Museum in Groningen, the Tennis Palace Art Museum in Helsinki, the Museum Morsbroich in Leverkusen, the Manezh Central Exhibition Hall in St. Petersburg, the Museum of Modern Art in Dresden, FOAM in Amsterdam, the Kunstmuseum Bochum, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Palazzo Fortuny in Venice, the Castello di Rivoli in Turin, the Ystads Konstmuseum Ystad, the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, the Cobra Museum, Amstelveen, and many others.
Zeno X Gallery (press release)