Home > art > If I could only spend one day with Anton Corbijn. How many things I could learn from the photographer of “rock persons”.

Anton Corbijn - Rolling Stones

Culture. Eat it

14 March 2018


If I could only spend one day with Anton Corbijn. How many things I could learn from the photographer of “rock persons”.

by Sara Cartelli

Anton Corbijn could be my father. He’s exactly the age of my father and, I hope my father don’t hold it against me, but I wouldn’t mind being his daughter at all (although in all probability, Anton, wouldn’t have wanted me around).

But have two fathers is not currently possible and, at almost thirty-three, getting a new father, script unseen, could be a risk. So I have to put things into perspective.

The most realistic desire (but not too much) could be this (Anton if you are listening make a noise):

spend one day with Anton Corbin.

If I could spend a single day with him I would probably be silently watching. I would try to understand what kind of magic is hidden behind his eye.

Because yes, it is true that Anton Corbijn is the greatest living photographer of rock, but he didn’t only immortalize masterfully the greatest musicians of the last forty years. He portrayed them in the most beautiful and pure sense of the term, he managed to bring out their soul, their personality, their charisma.

David Bowie, Rolling Stones, Nirvana, Prince, David Bowie, Nick Cave, Tom Waits, U2, Sex Pistols: all figures that in my opinion have more to do with the divine than with the planet earth, gods of the musical olympus that only Anton Corbijn managed to humanize. The real revolution in his work is that the character hand off to the person. There is a feeling, a strange vibration that makes you go further, that makes everything seem incredibly close and at your fingertips.

Anton Corbijn - David Bowie
Anton Corbijn – David Bowie, 1993

Anton Corbijn - Nick Cave
Anton Corbijn – Nick Cave, 1996

Anton Corbijn - U2Anton Corbijn – U2, 1986

And after all, what is the task of art if not breaking down walls and barriers?

Anton Corbijn succeeds in this intent with only two colors. Black and white, life and death, fiction and reality, light and shadow.

The color is rationed, dosed, chosen to feature films (such as The American or A Most Wanted Man) and videoclips. A splendid example of this is the spectacular and less known version of Coldplay’s Viva la Vida, which sees Chris Martin wandering dressed as a king carrying the painting by Eugène Delacroix, Liberty Leading the People (which is also the cover of the homonymous album).

If only I could spend a day with Anton Corbijn.

If I could, Anton, I’d thank you. Because one evening of an ordinary winter, when video store still existed, my boyfriend, my partner, and now the father of my son, came to my house with Control DVD.

I did not know at all who the hell were Joy Division (actually I knew it but they seemed too difficult to hear), it was only after seeing your film that I fell in love with them. Thanks to you I was able to know and appreciate them. Thanks to you I started listening to them and I still listen to them.

So thanks Anton. Thanks for everything.

anton corbijn - keith richards
Anton Corbijn – Keith Richards, 1980

Anton Corbijn - NirvanaAnton Corbijn – Nirvana, 1993

Anton Corbijn - Arcade Fire
Anton Corbijn – Arcade Fire

Anton Corbijn - Tom Waits
Anton Corbijn – Tom Waits, 2004

Anton Corbijn - PJ Harvey, 1998Anton Corbijn – PJ Harvey, 1998


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Sara Cartelli

Cogito Ergo Sum

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Sara Cartelli


Copywriter, content creator and mum with a huge passion for photography. Writing is a therapy that allows her to express her own personality and brings out her true voice. Better than a psychiatrist. Forever trying to find her way, at the time, she prefers to get lost.

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