Auctioneer and art dealer to the stars created the celebrated Fly to Baku travelling exhibition ten years ago. Now he has teamed up with the Dutch photographer Anton Corbijn, who has been photographing rock, entertainment and fashion royalty since the 1980s, for a major retrospective. Corbijn talks us though some key images in the show
“This is a much more conceptual picture…I was fascinated about the element of death that he was playing with at the time in his work. So, this is a photo of Damien in front of a work that consists of dead insects. His makeup was done in such a way to resemble a skull. The eyes and the nose were painted black, the lips sucked in…it was all done in front of the camera. I took the subject and made him the subject of his work. That’s what I do a lot sometimes, and I believe that’s what made my work different than what others did when I came to the UK in 1979.”
On Corbijn’s iconic image of Naomi Campbell he said, “I first photographed Naomi in ’93. Yeah, I believe we shot this in Paris for a German magazine and was setup by my then agent. Naomi has always been great to me. I did a series of her in a hotel room and on the balcony.”
Corbijn commented on his photograph of David Bowie, saying, “There is something ‘Christ-like’ about this image of course. That’s not the set out, but it’s a lovely undercurrent. The next day I took some more pictures of him, this time in a bar. He was extraordinarily kind to me. He even gave me three songs for my first movie, Control.”
“Okay, so this photograph is probably going to be on my gravestone, it’s that well known. Miles Davis shot in ‘85 in Montreal. This was shot with natural light, and if you look in the eyeballs… they’re extraordinarily large, you can actually see my head in there, framed against the window.”
Speaking about his photograph of Rick Owens, taken in 2018, Corbijn said “I mean, everything is simple about this picture. Just the person in that environment, quite organic. He really liked the picture, but who wouldn’t if you look like that! I did it as an editorial for American Vogue.”
de PURY Presents: Anton Corbijn will be on view online on de-pury.com and on display at The Hague, Amsterdam (by appointment only). It’s part of Simon de Pury’s ongoing series in which he collaborates with international artists out of their studios.
Online Editor: Candice Tucker