Nationality: Dutch | Born: 1955
Anton Corbijn (born 20 May 1955) is a Dutch photographer, music video director, and film director. He is the creative director behind the visual output of Depeche Mode and U2, having handled the principal promotion and sleeve photography for both for almost 3 decades. Some of his works include music videos for Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence" (1990), U2's "One" (version 1) (1991), Bryan Adams' "Do I Have to Say the Words? and Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box" (1993), as well as the Ian Curtis biopic Control (2007), George Clooney's The American (2010), and A Most Wanted Man (2013) based on John le Carré's 2008 novel of the same name.
Anton Corbijn was born on 20 May 1955 as Anton Johannes Gerrit Corbijn van Willenswaard in Strijen, the Netherlands, where his father had been appointed as parson to the Dutch Reformed Church the previous year. Father Anton (Hilversum, 12 Nov 1917 - Amersfoort, 9 Mar 2007) would take up the same position in Hoogland (1966) and Groningen (Diakonessenhuis, 1972) moving his wife and four children with him. His mother, Marietje Groeneboer (11 Sep 1925 - Hoogland, 15 Sep 2011), was a nurse and was raised in a parson's family. Photographer and director Maarten Corbijn (Strijen, 1960) is a younger brother. Grandfather Anton Johannes (Corbijn) van Willenswaard (Schoonhoven, 24 Nov 1886 - Hilversum, 16 Aug 1959) was an art teacher at Christian schools in Hilversum and an active member in the local Dutch Reformed church in Hilversum. Corbijn started his career of music photographer when he saw the Dutch musician Herman Brood playing in a café in Groningen around 1975. He took a lot of photos of the 'rising star' Herman Brood & His Wild Romance. Because of the pictures taken by Corbijn, Brood's fame rose quickly, and as a result Corbijn's own exposure increased. Corbijn has photographed Joy Division, Depeche Mode, Tom Waits, Pr?ta V?tra, David Bowie, Peter Hammill, Miles Davis, Björk, Captain Beefheart, Kim Wilde, Robert De Niro, Stephen Hawking, Elvis Costello, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Morrissey, Simple Minds, Clint Eastwood, The Cramps, Roxette and Herbert Grönemeyer, amongst others. Perhaps his most famous, and longest standing, association is with U2, having taken pictures of the band on their first US tour, as well as taking pictures for their Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby albums (et al) and directing a number of accompanying videos. From the late 70s the London based NME, (New Musical Express), a weekly music paper, featured his work on a regular basis and would often feature a photograph of his as the front page. One such an occasion was a portrait of David Bowie back stage in New York at his play The Elephant Man in nothing more than a loin cloth. In the early years of London based The Face, a glossy monthly post-punk life style / music magazine, Anton Corbijn was a regular contributor. He made his name working only in black and white. In May 1989 he began taking pictures in colour using filters: his first try was done for Siouxsie Sioux. Between 1998 through 2000, in collaboration with the painter Marlene Dumas, he worked on a project called "Stripping Girls", which took the strip clubs and peep shows of Amsterdam as their subject; while Corbijn later exhibited photographs, Dumas took Polaroids which she then used as sources for her paintings. Corbijn has photographed album covers for U2, working with sleeve designer Steve Averill and Peter Hammill, Depeche Mode, The Creatures (the second band of Siouxsie Sioux), Nick Cave, Bryan Adams, Metallica, Therapy?, The Rolling Stones, Simple Minds, R.E.M., The Bee Gees, Saybia and Moke.