One of the best known rock photographers of his generation, Anton Corbijn’s stark compositions and strict monochrome tones have exerted enormous influence on pop music imagery for more than 30 years.
Born in Strijen in The Netherlands in 1955, Anton Corbijn trained as a photographer and started to take photographs of musicians in the bars and cafes of Groningen in the mid-1970s. Before long, he had started working with international musicians, photographing bands like Joy Division, Depeche Mode and Souxsie & the Banshees, working mostly in black and white. Perhaps best known for his collaboration with U2, he first photographed the band for their War album in 1983 and remains their principal photographer.
Corbijn started directing music videos when German new-wave band Palais Schaumberg commissioned him to make a promo in 1983. He has subsequently directed videos for The Art of Noise, Simple Minds, Echo & The Bunnymen, Coldplay and U2.
Corbijn made his feature debut in 2007 with Control, a biopic of Joy Division front-man Ian Curtis. The film, photographed in the director’s trademark lustrous black and white, won a series of prizes at the Cannes Film Festival that year, including Best Film at the Director’s Fortnight. In 2010, Corbijn directed The American, adapted from Martin Booth’s novel A Very Private Gentleman, with George Clooney as a mercenary assassin hiding out in an Italian mountain village.