New Musical Express in the early ’80s

Dutch photographer/video maker born of the British post-punk era. As a contributor to English music paper New Musical Express in the early ’80s, Corbijn established his trademark style–dense black and white pictures of doomed romantics like Joy Division and Echo and the Bunnymen.

His unassuming personality and empathy with his subjects helped Corbijn forge alliances with some of future éminences grises of the alternative world: Morrissey, Depeche Mode (for whom Corbijn also designs stage sets), U2, and R.E.M. have all, at one time or another, sworn fealty to him, sometimes insisting on sanctioned Corbijn photos in place of commissioned shoots.

As a video-maker from the mid-’80s on, Corbijn has revealed an affinity for religious imagery and off-the-wall humor. “A mixture between Tati and Tarkovsky,” he remarked to London’s Guardian in 1994. One of Corbijn’s rare forays into color was Nirvana’s memorably lurid “Heart-Shaped Box,” the band’s last video.

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