Capturing Intimacy: Anton Corbijn

Camera Work is known for presenting some of the best international vintage photography – exhibiting icons such as Irving Penn and Richard Avedon. It’s current exhibit “Inwards and Onwards” with work from photographer and film director Anton Corbijn has only continued this legacy. Located nearly under the tracks of Savignyplatz S-bahn and tucked away in a hinterhof off of the bustling Kantstrasse, this gallery is full of sunlight and serenity, save the rhythmic rattling of trains passing by overhead… and even that has somehow a vintage feeling about it.

Getting Intimate

Making my way through the various rooms and floors of Camera Work, I couldn’t help but feel as though I were not alone. Sure there were one or two other visitors also purusing the photographs, but the faces (or backs) frozen on the walls were all in some way familiar, probably because I had seen most of Corbijn’s models before. From fellow artists to actors and musicians: Mick Jagger in drag (a nice internal rhyme to that!), a naked Iggy Pop, a masked Kate Moss with a lot of sex appeal, to a swoon-worthy Anthony Kiedis at the beach. Corbijn’s photographs capture human intimacy in the most natural of ways.

 Anthony Kiedis, Anton Corbijn

© Anton Corbijn, Anthony Kiedis, West Palm Beach, 2003

The black and white, large-format prints not only highlight the grainy vintage quality of the photographs, but they also give a more up-close and personal perspective of the models. A recent photograph of Paul McCartney shows the wrinkles and aging of his skin – something that would otherwise be airbrushed or out-of-focus, and yet something that naturally and gracefully represents experience and epochs lived.

There were a few instances were I was certain I had found my favorite picture – only to turn a corner and decide another one was my absolute favorite. A view of only Gerhard Richters’ back and one of his paintings, or Johnny Cash about to drive off in a car… the wind blowing, sun shining on his face, eyes wild…

  • Camera Work Anton Corbijn “Inwards and Onwards” – April 21st – June 9th 2012: Tues – Sat: 11am – 6pm.