Brian Griffin

Brian Griffin

BIOGRAPHY
Born in 1948 in Birmingham. At the age of 16 I started working in a factory, but with 21 years old I got in the School of Photography at Manchester College of Art. After art college I moved to London, and in 1972 I was offered a job on the respected business magazine Management Today. Through the early ‘70’s I began to work for many magazines, I was attempting to change how portraiture was photographed and came against a lot of criticism at times.
At the advent of post–punk I started taking photographs of bands for press, publicity and album covers, some of which became very famous featuring in the top 100 album sleeves by Rolling Stone magazine.
In 1980 I founded my own studio in East London. This enabled me to offer my editorial, rock and advertising clients a studio facility, and gave me the opportunity to develop my lighting. In the mid 80’s the construction of Broadgate began. My job entailed for 2 years lighting that part of the City of London, inventing the photographic concept piece “The Big Tie” and supplying this work to the developers, Royal Family and Prime Minister. This was the time I visited Margaret Thatcher at number 10 Downing Street for a private portrait.
1987 was the year of my first exhibition at Le Rencontres d’Arles, where I was given the Freedom of the City of Arles. Later in the year my exhibition Work opened at the Edinburgh Festival and went on to tour the UK and Europe for the next 2 years, culminating in a one-man show at the National Portrait Gallery London in 1989. The same year the Guardian newspaper awarded me “The Photographer of the Decade” and Life magazine placed my photograph “A Broken Frame” on their cover of the “Greatest Photographs of the Eighties”.
Throughout the ‘90’s I retired from photography and took up directing advertising film, pop videos and short films.
Returning to photography in 2001 I was commissioned to take portraits of the people of Birmingham in order for the city to become “The City of Culture”.
In 2009 I was invited for a commission by the College des Bernardins with an exhibition at Paris Photo 2010, followed in 2011 with a project for Marseille–Provence 2013 European Capital City of Culture. I have been photographing the people involved in Birmingham New Central Library, from which a book and an exhibition will be launched in September 2013. Finally for the moment, Format Festival in Derby will be displaying a set of my still lives from March until June 2013, which will be followed in October by a major retrospective of my corporate photography at the Museum of Modern Art Bologna Italy.