anton the great

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Ready for a treat on a dreary fall afternoon? Steer yourself over here and dive into the moody, gloomy, dirty glamour of Anton Corbijn. He’s the legendary Dutch-born photographer and film director who has shot some of the world’s most iconic musical acts, including U2, Depeche Mode, Joy Division, Iggy Pop, Bjork, David Bowie, Miles Davis, Nirvana and R.E.M.

Depeche Mode was my first major band crush. Their edgy electro-synth sounds offered the perfect soundtrack for my teenage angst. But even then, I was awestruck by Corbijn’s videos for singles including Strangelove, Never Let Me Down Again, Behind the Wheel, and World in My Eyes. Music videos were just emerging as an art form, and MTV was almost garishly colourful — reflecting the bouncy, mainstream pop of the era. But Corbijn created fantasy worlds that were gritty, grainy and dark. His camera captured beauty edged with ugliness and more than a hint of subversion

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The men in Corbijn’s viewfinder are rock outlaws, all distressed leather and louche attitude. The women walk dogs in stilettos and skintight dresses with Eurotrash indifference. They function as props — lounging in lingerie on couches and pouting in doorways, nonchalantly aware that they’re being filmed right into history.

Corbijn’s images were a massive departure from the fresh-scrubbed acts of the ’80s, and he continues to produce some of the most breathtaking photography around. If you haven’t seen his 2007 film, Control, about Ian Curtis and the rise of Joy Division, you need to book the night off right now. I mean now.

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More than anything, the man is seriously prolific. Corbijn shot Echo and the Bunnymen in 1984 and still found time to tart up The Killers in 2008. He’s done stacks of books, major gallery exhibits, and I can only imgaine what new projects are rattling around in his creative mind.

Surfing through his website, I’m reminded that a creative life piles up day by day, project by project. When you stay on course, stay true to your influences, and work hard to hone your craft, the results can be extraordinary.

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posted 19 Nov 09 in: art, business, music. This post currently has 3 responses.

3 Responses so far. Add Your Own.

Wow! I didn’t know about Anton Corbijn or his work – very classic, cool and edgy. Loving this blog, Cheri!

I’m curious – if Anton offered to shoot you what elements do you think he would include? (And you can’t say a cone bra because that’s already taken.) :)

 

Anton Corbijn makes me wish I could dream in black & white.

Rachael / 25 Nov 09
 

Rachael — I totally agree. Colour doesn’t always rule.

Cassie — That’s a sneaky question. If I can’t say cone bra and Bono’s already been photographed in the bath, then maybe a train yard or some sort of industrial space. Play off my not-so-tough appearance…

cheri / 30 Nov 09
 

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