Brian Griffin

As one of Britain’s most influential portrait photographers, Brian Griffin achieved early recognition for his work in the 1970s and 1980s, developing a style which has since been referred to as Capitalist Realism.

He began work aged 16 as a trainee draughtsman in a Black Country factory, but with a desire to leave home and following an introduction to photography through a local camera club, Griffin enrolled at Manchester Polytechnic to study photography.

Much of his early career was focused in the advertising and commerical world and he ran his own production company working as a commerical director for many years.

Returning to photography he took inspiration from fine art, film and literature and has exhibited his art photography internationally, receiving commissions from many European cultural institutions including Rencontre D'Arles Photograph Festival.

In 2010 he had a major retrospective of his portraiture Face to Face in Birmingham. In 2013 Griffin received the Centenary Medal from the Royal Photographic Society in recognition of a lifetime achievement in photography.

Griffin has published over twenty books and in 1991 was awarded the Best Photography Book in the World prize at Barcelona Primavera Fotografica.

For one of his more recent book projects, Himmelstrasse, Griffin took a series of photographs of the railways that transported World War II prisoners to deaths camps in Poland.

His book Pop, a collection of his record covers and portraits was a sell out success and in 2016 Griffin was inducted into the Album Cover Hall of Fame.

His photographs are held in the permanent collections of major art institutions including the Arts Council, British Council, Victoria & Albert Museum and National Portrait Gallery, London.

Exhibitions & Events