Anton Corbijn Interview: Advice to the Young

“You can only be as good as your access to people.” Watch the cult photographer and director Anton Corbijn – who has immortalised artists such as Tom Waits, U2, Depeche Mode and David Bowie – share his advice from decades of experience.

Even if you’re an amazing photographer, Corbijn argues, you are dependent on people wanting to be photographed by you. The person in the photograph, the photographer and something new – these are the three elements that combined, and in balance, make a good picture.

“Your inability to photograph a different way is what creates your style.” Photography, Corbijn feels, is a beautiful, simple medium that has become quite commonplace: “The difficulty is to find a way for your vision to be noticed because there’s an abundance of visual stuff, and it’s meaningless, and so you have to make something that’s meaningful.” Being driven is essential, and wanting to become a photographer for the sake of fame and fortune, he continues, is “just bullshit.”

Anton Corbijn (b. 1955) is a Dutch photographer, music video and film director, whose iconic photographic expression has defined a whole generation of musicians. Corbijn has been the creative director behind the visual output of Depeche Mode and U2 for over three decades. He is also the photographer behind the defining monochrome stills of Joy Division (1979). His work includes music videos such as ‘Enjoy the Silence’ for Depeche Mode (1990), ‘One’ (version 1) for U2 (1991), ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ for Nirvana (1993), ‘Viva la Vida’ for Coldplay (2008) as well as Ian Curtis’ biographical film ‘Control’ (2007) and the feature films ‘The American’ (2010), ‘A Most Wanted Man’ (2014), and ‘Life’ (2015).

Anton Corbijn was interviewed by Kasper Bech Dyg at Brandts in Odense, Denmark in March 2019 in connection with the exhibition ‘Anton Corbijn – 1-2-3-4’.

Camera: Jakob Solbakken

Produced and edited by: Kasper Bech Dyg

Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2019

Supported by Nordea-fonden



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