A life in portrait: Brian Griffin’s latest collection
Friday, 1 October 2010
In the early Seventies, the photographer Brian Griffin began his career taking shots of businessmen for Management Today magazine. His approach, as you may deduce from the images here, was rather unconventional.
Now he is among the most revered portrait photographers of his generation, capturing the likes of Kate Bush, Ringo Starr, Iggy Pop and Helen Mirren. Pictured here are the actor Jeremy Irons, French fashion designer André Courrèges, the unkempt locks of Queen’s Brian May, the actor Donald Sutherland, and the fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood.
“Face to Face”, which opens outside Snow Hill Station in Birmingham today, showcases 38 years of Griffin’s portraiture; from iconic portraits of leading musicians, politicians and celebrities to shots of ordinary people. It was to Snow Hill that Griffin commuted for three years while working in a local factory, the job that was to trigger his departure to photography school in 1969.
A further two Griffin exhibitions will also open in the city today: “Team”, an award-winning 2006 commission depicting the people that built Britain’s first high-speed railway, and “The Water People” a commission for Reykjavik Energy, a semi-mythical portrayal of adventure across the Icelandic landscape. The works in the exhibitions will eventually be donated to Birmingham Central Library.
Brian Griffin said: “I am a boy from the Black Country, born in Birmingham. For that reason the city has always been close to my heart.”