Prof. Brian Griffin D.Univ. (BCU) Hon. FRPS.
Brian Griffin is one of the most unconventional, renowned and influential creative portrait photographers working in Britain today, 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.
Brian was born in Birmingham on the 13th April 1948 but lived in the industrial Black Country until he went to Manchester Polytechnic (1969 – 72) to study photography. He moved to London in 1972 to work as a freelance photographer getting his first commission for Management Today in November 1972 and exhibited in the “Young British Photographers” in 1975.
A much-revered photographer, Brian received the “Freedom of the city of Arles, France” in 1987 and went on to publish the seminal book “Work” in 1988 with a one-man show at the National Portrait Gallery; the book went on to be awarded the Best Photography book in the World at the Barcelona Primavera Fotografica 1991. A stunning collection of arresting monochrome portraits of workers showing each in a different light, from middle management to those in construction. In 1989 the Guardian newspaper proclaimed him to be “The Photographer Of The Decade”. Also “Life” magazine used the photograph “A Broken Frame” on its front cover of a special supplement “The Greatest Photographs Of The 80’s”. From 1991 until 2002 Brian worked as a film director making TV Commercials, Music Videos and Short Films.
In 2007, Brian produced a book and exhibition for the Royal opening of St. Pancras Station London and High Speed 1. In 2009 Brian became the patron of the Derby Festival of Photography and continues to be the Festival’s patron. For the London Olympics, he launched the photography project “Road To 2012” which was shown at the National Portrait Gallery. In 2010 he had a major retrospective of my portraiture “Face to Face” in Birmingham. In September 2013 Brian received the “Centenary Medal” from the Royal Photographic Society in recognition of a lifetime achievement in photography.
Brian was commissioned and exhibited at “Marseille Provence 2013 European Capital of Culture”, also for “Reference 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. Then in 2014, he received an Honorary Doctorate by Birmingham City University for his lifetime contribution to the City of Birmingham.
October 2017 will see the publication of “Gig” a book on the history of his music photography.