Anton Corbijn's feature films have shown in festivals worldwide and his intimate portraits have occupied the covers of magazines and newspapers, depicting subjects under natural light with soft contours.Read More
Corbijn's career as a music photographer started around the mid-1970s, after he photographed Dutch musician Herman Brood and his band Herman Brood & His Wild Romance after witnessing the musician play at a café in Groningen.
From the late 1970s, Corbijn was a regular contributor to magazines like the New Musical Express, a London-based music newspaper, and The Face, a post-punk lifestyle magazine, which would often feature his photographs on the cover.
Amongst Corbijn's portraits is David Bowie wearing a loincloth backstage while starring in a theatrical adaptation of The Elephant Man. Other subjects include Jimmy Page, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Miles Davis, Stephen Hawking, and Elvis Costello.
In the monochrome portrait Kurt Cobain (1993), the rock icon is captured with a soft expression, eyes concealed behind white shades, interlaced hands placed in front of his chest, seemingly communicating all there is to say.
In 1989, Corbijn departed from his habitual black-and-white images to shoot the album booklet for the Creature's Boomerang, which incorporated colour using filters.
The same year, Corbijn collaborated with South African painter Marlene Dumas for 'Stripping Girls', a project that captured Amsterdam's strip clubs and peep shows.
One of Corbijn's longest collaborations has been with the electronic music band Depeche Mode. Their collaboration began with the filming of their 1986 music video for 'A Question of Time' and led to the Corbijn designing the band's entire live set.
Since 1993, Corbijn has directed 20 music videos for the band and designed most of their album covers, as he has done for rock bank U2, another long-time collaborator whom Corbijn first shot during their first tour in the United States.
Corbijn made his first colour video in 1984 for U2's single 'Pride (In the Name of Love)'. In 1994, Corbijn directed Some Yoyo Stuff, a short film for the BBC, while his debut film, Control, premiered at Cannes Film Festival in 2007.
Control, a biographical film about the life of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis, won the Director's Fortnight, the CICAE Art & Essai Prize, and the Regards Jeunes Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, and went on to win the Michael Powell Award for Best New Feature Film at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.
In 2010, Corbijn directed The American, starring George Clooney. He also directed A Most Wanted Man (2014), based on a book written by British spy novelist John le Carré.
In 2018, Corbijn filmed Depeche Mode's last two concerts in Berlin. Some of the footage turned into Spirits in the Forest, a live-music documentary released in 2019.