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Damien Hirst, Gloucestershire, 2003

Never surrender: Brian Griffin about his life as a photographer

BJP

“I’ve spent a lifetime tidying up the world”, Brian Griffin tells us when we meet him in his home in London in May. Much of his work, often depicting workers and tradesmen, seems meticulously staged, yet honest and full of emotions. Griffin’s work transforms workplaces into stages and his subjects into actors.    As one of Britain’s most influential portrait photographers, he achieved early recognition for his work in the 1970s and 1980s, developing a style which has since been referred to as Capitalist Realism. Griffin tells us that he never felt bothered about photographing the famous and he never felt star struck, even when meeting some of his more glamorous clients. Over the years he photographed anyone from Helen Mirren to Vivienne Westwood, Sebastian Coe to Jonathan Ross. Griffin always wanted to capture real emotions, sometimes turmoil, which one can see in his photographs. To capture this in his models’ expressions he has tried many tricks, like playing the charming amateur photographer or by mischievously goading his subjects. Griffin takes inspiration from fine art, …

2016-11-24T11:24:08+00:00

BJP Staff