In partnership with Manchester School of Art, Redeye presents a series of photographic talks from some of the UK's leading photographic artists. On 8 February 2017, Brian Griffin joins us to talk about his life and work as one of Britain's most influential portrait photographers.
Brian Griffin was born in Birmingham but lived in the Black Country until going to Manchester Polytechnic (1969–72) to study photography. Since 1972 he has lived in London as a freelance photographer, getting his first commission forManagement Today in November 1972. He first exhibited in the Young British Photographers in 1975.
Brian received Freedom of the city of Arles, France, in 1987. He published the book Work in 1988 with a one-man show at the National Portrait Gallery. Work went on to be awarded the Best Photography book in the World at the Barcelona Primavera Fotografica 1991. In 1989 the Guardian newspaper proclaimed him to be 'The Photographer of the Decade' and Life magazine used the photograph A Broken Frame on its front cover of a special supplement The Greatest Photographs of the 80s.
From 1991 until 2002 Brian worked as a film director making TV commercials, music videos and short films.
In 2003 he worked on Birmingham’s bid to become the European Capital City of Culture followed by a retrospective at the Art Museum Reykjavik Iceland in 2005. He then produced a book and exhibition for the Royal opening of St. Pancras Station London and High Speed 1 in 2007. In 2009 He became the patron of the Derby Festival of Photography and continues to be the Festivals patron. For the London Olympics in 2009 he launched the photography project Road To 2012 at the National Portrait Gallery. In 2010 he had a major retrospective of his portraiture Face to Face in Birmingham.
In September 2013 he received the Centenary Medal from the Royal Photographic Society in recognition of a lifetime achievement in photography.
Recently he has been commissioned and exhibited at Marseille Provence 2013 European Capital of Culture, also forReference Works the photography project to celebrate with a book and exhibition the building and opening of the New Birmingham Library. This was followed by a retrospective of his corporate photography in Bologna Italy during October 2013.
In 2014 he received an Honorary Doctorate from Birmingham City University for his lifetime contribution to the City of Birmingham.
His work is featured in many museum collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, National Portrait Gallery London, Art Museum Reykjavik Iceland, Arts Council London and Museum Folkwang Essen Germany.