Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Anton Corbijn, Rock Photographer Extraordinaire

Currently filming the much-anticipated biopic of tragic Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis, legendary Dutch photographer and music-video director Anton Corbijn has enjoyed more than two decades of recognition in a highly competitive and ruthless business.

Throughout his career, Corbijn has designed album covers and shot videos for various industry mainstays like U2, Bob Dylan, Depeche Mode, Echo and the Bunnymen, David Sylvian and Massive Attack, all in that singular style of his. Corbijn specialises in an organic, earthy, stripped-down look that often emphasises the act's inherent artistic temperament.

Here are some prime examples of his work:

Perhaps the most enduring cover image to be associated with the Irish rockers, Corbijn posed the band at a particularly desolate locale in Death Valley for this decidedly moody panoramic shot that succinctly displays the stark, striking contrast between man and nature.

101 (Depeche Mode, 1988)
An astute pictorial commentary on the benefits of capitalism, Corbijn's shot of a Depeche Mode concert merchandise stand is an apt image that perfectly reflects the expectant sense of looming success that the electro-pop outfit felt during their American tour in 1988.

VIOLATOR (Depeche Mode, 1990)
A ridiculously simple design for Depeche Mode's American breakthrough. That single stalk of red rose is almost Warholian in nature, and is a great visual representation of the band's increasing artistic confidence.

The garage-rock veterans' most sombre work gets an austere, industrial-informed design that mirrors the album's general themes of mortality and nostalgia perfectly.

DEVILS AND DUST (Bruce Springsteen, 2005)
Springsteen's thematic work on the corrosive effects of war and economic oppression gets an appropriately bleak image that shows the Boss in a pensive, reflective state.


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