Brian Griffin


Brian Griffin 'has had a profound effect on photography in the last 30 years... he creates works of art that leave the viewer mesmerised' (British journal of Photography).

His portraits are renowned: 'politicians, designers, singers... all undergo a magical metamorphosis in front of Brian Griffin's camera' (The Sunday Times). Portraiture is an important aspect of Griffin's work, and his diverse career has encompassed both commercial and fine art photography, film, audio-visual performance, fashion photography and books.

Born in Birmingham in 1948, Griffin studied photography at Manchester Polytechnic's School of Photography, where he was first able to encounter a myriad of artistic movements in the college library - from the Renaissance to Symbolism, Expressionism and Surrealism. His influences have emerged from film or painting, with the lighting in German Expressionist cinema and film noir a major inspiration.

Griffin started work as a freelance photographer in 1972. His TV commercials and music videos include a film documentary for Sir Paul McCartney in 2004. In 2006, he produced images for the corporate book and exhibition The Water People for Reykjavik Energy. For the 2007 State Opening of St Pancras Station, he produced the exhibition and book Team, creating powerful images of workers involved with the project. Magazines that Griffin has worked for include The Sunday Times Magazine, The Face, Time Out, The Observer Magazine and L'Uomo Vogue; and he has produced advertising images for many international companies, including British Airways, Sony, and Smirnoff. His many music industry clients have included Siouxsie and the Banshees, Elvis Costello, Iggy Pop, Ringo Starr, Peter Gabriel, Depeche Mode and REM.

Brian Griffin's work is held by British and international collections and he has exhibited widely in Britain and abroad: in galleries, museums, photographic biennales and festivals. Highlights from his numerous exhibitions include Portraits of Our Time (1978) at the Photographers Gallery, London; Brian Griffin (1984) at the Olympus Gallery, Tokyo; 20 for Today (1986) at the National Portrait Gallery, London; Createurs d'Images Createurs de Mode (1988) at the Museé des Arts de la Mode, Paris; Towards a Bigger Picture (1988); at the Victoria and Albert Museum; Work (1988) at the National Portrait Gallery, London; Beyond the Portrait (1992) at Derby City Art Museum; Seeing Things People and the City (2003) at Birmingham Art Gallery & Museum; a retrospective: Influences (2005) at the Art Museum, Reyjkavik, Iceland.


Solo exhibition, Les Rencontres d'Arles Photographie.
Olympic Games The Road to 2012, National Portrait Gallery, London.
City X, England & Co, London.
Patron of the Format Photo Festival, Derby, UK.
Brian Griffin: Photographs, England & Co, London.
Solo exhibition, University of Falmouth, UK.
Solo exhibition, Ardenandanstruther Gallery, Petworth, UK.
No Such Thing As Society
, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Wales.
Publication of The White Glove.
Team book and exhibition for the State opening of St Pancras Station, London.
Between Today and Yesterday
, Tunpike Gallery, Leigh, UK.
Madame la Presidente
, Les Rencontres d'Arles, France.
The Water People (exhibition + book), Reykjavik, Iceland.
Publication of Baugur The Movie.
Influences (Retrospective + book), Art Museum, Reyjkavik, Iceland.
The Trip
, solo exhibition, German Gymnasium, London.
A Question of Identity
, National Portrait Gallery, London.
Time Out Portraits, Tom Blau Gallery, London.
Gallery at Sketch, London.
Aspects of Architecture
, Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield, UK.
People and the City, Birmingham Art Gallery and Museum, UK.
Le Cheveu
, L'Espace Gallery. Montreal, Canada.
Collecting photographs
, Focus Gallery, London.
Circling the Square
, National Portrait Gallery, London.
Seeing Things, Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Publication of Film Stills.
Meet, Chamber of Pop Culture, London.
Beyond the Portrait, Derby City Museum, UK.
Photographer of the Decade, Poseurs, Birmingham; Forum Stadt Park, Graz, Austria; Perspektief, Rotterdam; Hippolyte Gallery, Helsinki; Pokjoinen Valokuvakeskus, Finland; Fotografiskt Galleri, Stockholm.
Publication of Work.
XYZ Fotografie, Ghent, Belgium; IF sas, Milan, Italy; Fotografia Oltre, Chiasso, Switzerland.
Interarte, Visor Centre Fotografic, Valencia.
20s encontros da imagem, Braga, Portugal; Galeria de l'Ancienne Poste, Calais.
3rd Foto Biennale, Vigo, Spain; Galeria Arte $al, Barcelona.
Createurs d'Images Createurs de Mode, Musée des Arts de la Mode, Paris.
Kodachrome Classics, Photokina, Cologne.
WORK, Stills Gallery, Edinburgh International Festival; Pendle Photographic Gallery, Nelson, UK; Picture House, Leicester, UK.
Towards A Bigger Picture, Victoria and Albert Museum, London.   
WORK, National Portrait Gallery, London; Impressions Gallery, York; Tate, Liverpool; Norwich Arts Centre; Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal; Visage Gallery, Chester.
Through the Looking Glass: 150 Years of Photography, Barbican Art Gallery, London; Manes Hall, Prague.
Foto Biennale, Enschede, the Netherlands.
Cité Des Photographes, Arles, France.
, The Gallery Downstairs, Burnley; De Moor, Amsterdam.
, Les Rencontres d'Arles, France.
Publication of Portraits.
British Contemporary Photography Coming of Age, Houston Foto Festival, Texas, USA.
20 for Today
, National Portrait Gallery, London.
European Portrait Photography
, Foto Galerij, Antwerp, Belgium.
50 Years of Modern Colour Photography
, Photokina, Cologne, Germany.
Cricket and Modern Art
, Art Gallery, Scarborough.
, Glynn Vivian Gallery, Swansea.        
, Olympus Gallery, Hamburg, Germany.
Publication of Open.
Human Interest, Cornerhouse, Manchester.
Brian Griffin, Olympus Gallery, Tokyo.
Razzle Dazzle Pop
, ICA London.
Brian Griffin, Savile Club, London.
London at Night
, The Photographers' Gallery, London.
Auras, Olympus Gallery, London.
Brian Griffin
, Manchester Polytechnic.
Publication of 'Y'.
Contemporary British Photographers, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Lichtbildnisse - Das Porträt in der Fotografie
, Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn; Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool; Galerie Viviane Esders, Paris.
International Foto Festival
, Malmo, Sweden; IKON Gallery, Birmingham; Foto Factory, Sweden.
Rock 'n' Roll and The Office, Contrast Gallery, London.
Half a Dozen Photographers
, Stafford Art Gallery.
Publication of Power.
1979, St Leonard's on Sea.
Three Perspectives, Hayward Gallery, London.
Portraits of Our Time, The Photographers' Gallery, London.
Publication of Brian Griffin Copyright.
Young British Photographers, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford.

Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Arts Council of Great Britain, London.
British Council, London.
West Midlands Arts.
Stills gallery, Edinburgh.
National Portrait Gallery, London.
City Museum, Braga, Portugal.
Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany.
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, UK.
Art Museum Reykjavik, Iceland.
Baugur Group.

Self-portrait. - image