See Anton Corbijn’s Photographs of Springsteen, Iggy Pop, Tom Waits, Alexander McQueen, and Others
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Alexander McQueen, London, 2007
Corbijn: "This is Alexander McQueen in his studio. I liked the picture from the start, but after his death it seemed to be more poignant. I think it’s one of these places in a fashion studio where they put a lot of inspiration for a collection on the wall. He was very hands-on. He was a tailor, wasn’t he? He was kind of a fashion terrorist."
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Tom Waits, California, 2004
Corbijn: "I’m doing a book with Tom at the moment. It should come out in March. It’s a very big book because we took our first picture in 1977 and continue to work with each other. Holland in the seventies was very progressive in its recognition of great music from the seventies, actually. Ry Cooder, Captian Beefheart, Tom Waits, and Randy Newman, I think, all had their first gold records in Holland. A lot of photographers say he’s a dream model. I love Tom and our shoots are very simple. It’s just him and me always going out to take some pictures. This is an image I particularly like because with Tom you never know whether you get the person or the person he’s playing. It makes him such wonderful subject matter."
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Bruce Springsteen, New Jersey, 2005
Corbijn: "That came out of a shoot I did for his album Devils and Dust. I was a fan very early on, but I never managed to get a great picture of him until 2005. As a person to photograph he’s up there in a way with Tom Waits, I think. Two great American icons. They’re so mature, in a way. They’ve so become the people they want to be. It’s like the Dutch queen; she was by herself when I photographed her. The English Queen had her whole staff. I think that’s a sign of greatness. I spent some time with him in these pictures and it’s great to see somebody who’s their own boss."
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Kate Moss, New York,1993
Corbijn: "This is a very old picture of Kate from '93. All the rest of the series is from 2002 on. It’s quite a simple picture and uses the fact that she has such a beautiful face. We go back a little bit. We used to share a house in London, and I also used her very early on for a Levi’s campaign. I also did a Johnny Cash video with her for a song called "Delia’s Gone." Yeah, so I‘m very fond of Kate and I think she’s the main model for me in the last ten years. There’s a lot of symmetry there. You don’t know if it’s a party or if there’s something sexual; it’s ambiguous in that sense. The mask? I’m not telling you. Let’s say she didn’t have it on when she answered the door."
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Richard Prince, New York, 2010
Corbijn: "I find Richard’s work is very inspiring as a pop artist and the 'Nurses' series is one of my favorite series that he’s done. There’s a beautiful relation between him and the painting, which is hard to get. With Richter it’s the same, actually. Him and the painting become a single image."
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Anselm Kiefer, Barjac, 2008
Corbijn: "The image is playful in the way he winds up at the top of the stairs. It’s kind of a stairway to heaven. These towers? They’re massive and he put them up one at a time. They lean a little but are stable enough to walk around in. This area is on the poster for the movie Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow, a Sophie Fiennes documentary on Kiefer. She followed him for a long time. I shot on a day that she was shooting but when she was shooting his work, I was shooting him."
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Iggy Pop, New York, 2003
Corbijn: "Would you believe this was Central Park? I found the place. This comes closest to being a painting I think of any of these pictures. It’s the same with Kiefer. It reduces the person that you photograph to being part of a much larger environment which is unusual in photographs of people that are well-known. The last time he was naked in a photograph was in the early seventies, I think. It was a very famous picture of him where he was posed naked. He hasn’t done that since — his torso, yes, all the time, but never completely naked. I thought it was interesting to do that again. It came out of an assignment for Rolling Stone. They never ran the picture. How you cannot run this picture I don’t know, but, well … "
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Tricky, Los Angeles, 2002
Corbijn: "To me this is a beauty-and-the-beast kind of image. The butterfly symbolizes something fragile. He has a very soft element in him, although he comes over very hard and rough. It takes it away from seeing Tricky as a gangster. I think he’s a very interesting artist. We first met one evening in London a long time ago. He was D.J.-ing and I showed movies that I liked. I did a picture of him for a magazine and then I did [a shoot for] an album called Blowback. I don’t know what happened, but this is from a shoot that didn’t work out for him. I was always keen on this one."
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Gerard Richter, Cologne, 2010
Corbijn: "Photography is a great excuse to meet people, so that’s how I sometimes use it. This image stems from an interest in the world of painters and always wanting to learn more about it. If anything, I’m a frustrated painter. My grandfather was a painter and my father was a minister of religion. My grandfather died when I was very young and my father only took me once in my whole life to a museum. He was not against it, it just wasn’t part of his interest. [The museum exhibition] was Rembrandt, because Rembrandt depicts biblical scenes and it was the only way my father could relate to painting. I grew up on an island, and I didn’t have any knowledge of culture when I was very young."
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Lucian Freud, London 2008
Corbijn: "What I like about this image is the strength. He’s an older man, but there’s so much strength and power and determination in this image. I think it’s wonderful that Lucian, at this age, is still adamant to create work. He doesn’t take breaks, he doesn’t go on holiday, he works on two pieces a day. That’s inspiring."