Anton Corbijn Inwards and Onwards: an Exhibition not to be Missed

 

I find that black and white photography is much more powerful. And expressive. And honest.

And done by a master like Anton Corbijn it becomes art.

His new exhibition of portraits currently at Foam in Amsterdam is nothing but that. Portraits of artists series was born out of Corbijn’s fascination with the creative process and the accompanying pain and struggle.

Very graphic, stripped of the superfluous these portraits capture the very essence of the subject —

all big names from the field of arts, music, sports, public life.

Corbijn is no voyeur, neither is he a dazzled admirer. Undoubtedly a great reader of character he achieves total fusion with his subject, to the point that you forget that there’s a photographer between you two.

 

Damien Hirst as a scull. His face covered in white powdery substance and black holes instead of eyes

 

 

Marlene Dumas with a fag, face behind a smoke screen. For me strongly evocative of the Helmut Newton’s legendary photo of le Smoking by YSL

 

 

Mick Jagger in drag

 

 

And Mandela the quintessential Good of this world

 

 

Alexander Mcqueen, the tormented spirit, something of a suicide bomber steadying for the final reckoning, extremely fragile

 

 

Many more arresting images of Jonhy Cash, of Lance Armstrong and of Lucien Freud and Richard Prince.

This exhibition is small and intimate. The faces keep drawing you in. And you can’t but get philosophical pondering about life, the futility of fame and fortune…

Do make time to visit. It is on in Amsterdam at the Foam Photography Museum on Keizersgracht

 

For those of you who like me live in the Hague, it would interesting to know that the colourful and happy logo of the City of the Hague was designed by Anton Corbijn.