The art of Kevin Blythe Sampson



Anton Corbijn -

Anton Corbijn

Published: November 30, 2010

Photo by Anton Corbijn
Anton Corbijn's "Gerhard Richter," 2010. Digital print on photographic paper.

This portrait was taken this past May in Gerhard Richter's new studio outside Cologne. It's maybe a start of a contact with Richter. That's how I like to see it. I don't think you photograph people to start friendships. This one is part of a series of pictures I do of painters, because I'm a frustrated painter. I tried when I was young. Maybe I'll try it again in a few years. I'm hopeless at it, but it's the most inspiring art form to me. I feel incredibly jealous of the freedom painters have, and I like their company. This particular way of shooting Richter is reminiscent of a photograph [and later painting] he made of his daughter, Betty, in 1988, a picture from the back of her head. It wasn't planned; it just worked out like that. I liked the little white hairs he has on his head. From behind, he has this beautiful line. It was graphically very interesting. I do things intuitively, and I don’t question it as much or analyze it as much. You know, Americans always want everything explained with photography. Hence the popularity of Annie Leibovitz, who’s very good at what she’s doing. I’m fine if things are not as clear but look good and feel good, and there’s a sense of something else there.

Anton Corbijn's "Inwards and Onwards," which also includes portraits of the painters Richard Prince and Anselm Kiefer, is on view at Stellan Holm Gallery, in New York, through December 15.

"Anton Corbijn" originally appeared in the December 2010/January 2011 issue of Modern Painters. For a complete list of articles from this issue available on ARTINFO, see Modern Painters' December 2010/January 2011 Table of Contents.

Anton Corbijn -