About British photographer, Brian GRIFFIN (1948-2024)

Birmingham-born photographer Brian GRIFFIN grew up in Lye, a town in the Black Country, an area of the British Midlands. After joining a local camera club, he studied (along with contemporaries Daniel MEADOWS, Peter FRASER and Martin PARR photography at Manchester School of Art and graduated in 1972. After college, he moved to London to work as a fashion photographer. Instead he took a job as a corporate photographer for London-based business magazines. By the 1980s, he had become known as a corporate photography expert. Around this same time, he began working in the music industry. His work appeared on many album covers of the era, notably that of Depeche Mode's 'A Broken Frame', often cited as one of the best color photographs ever shot. He drew upon the backgrounds of his photographic subjects, many of whom were workers and tradesmen. This led to his developing a photographic style that has since been referred to as capitalist realism. Although the term has been used to describe other forms of art, he is credited with being the first to develop the style in photography. Brian GRIFFIN died in his sleep on 29 January 2024, at the age of 75.

Photo books by as well as with works by Brian GRIFFIN

  • 'Brian Griffin' (1978, with drawings by Barney Bubbles); 'Power. British Management in Focus' (1981, 1984); 'Auras' (1983); 'Open: Twenty One Photographs' (1986); 'Portraits' (1987, 1988); 'Work' (1989); 'Brian Griffin' (by Nick Long); 'Influences' (2005); 'The Water People' (2005); 'Business as usual' (2013); 'The Black Kingdom' (2013); 'Himmelstrasse' (2015); 'Pop' (2017); 'Spud' (2018); 'England 1970s' (2018); 'Moscow 1974' (2018); 'Black Country DADA. 1969-1990); 

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In 'SPUD', Brian GRIFFIN explores the relationship between potatoes and those soldiers who were killed in the same place some 100 years ago. 'SPUD', the informal word for potato, was also used for British soldiers of low rank during the First World War.
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Different coloured HC (no dust jacket, as issued), 21 x 26 x 4 cm., color & b/w ills., 1,565 gr., text language: English
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HC (without dust jacket, as issued), 30 x 23 cm., 120 pp., 69 b/w & 33 color ills., English, Ltd. to only 500 numbered copies
98,00 € *
  • 1984: Most Outstanding Award for Photography, Design and Art Direction (for the album cover of Depeche Mode's A Broken Frame);

    1987: Freedom of the City of Arles, Les Rencontres d'Arles;
    1988: Most Outstanding Award for Self-Promotional Item, Design and Art Direction (for Portraits); Most Outstanding Award for Promotional Magazine, Design and Art Direction (for Broadgate);
    1989: Most Outstanding Award for Photography in a Book, Design and Art Direction (for Work); Photographer of the Decade, The Guardian;
    1991: Best Photography Book in the World, Barcelona Primavera Fotografica;
    2006: Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society; Photographer of the Year, British Press Awards (shortlisted);
    2013: Centenary Medal of the Royal Photographic Society| for distinguished persons connected with the art or science of photography;
    2014: Honorary doctorate, Birmingham City University (for his lifetime contribution to the City of Birmingham);
    2016: Best in Books for Design, Creative Reviews;

  • 2010: 'Face to Face', in Birmingham;

    2010/2011: The Black Country, Collège des Bernardins, Paris & at New Art Gallery Walsal, UK;