5th November 2018
Photographer Phil Griffin presents ‘Unseen Icons’, an exhibition of previously unshown portraits of public and celebrated figures at the Brownsword Hepworth Gallery

Showing from the 24th October – 23rd November 2018 at the newly expanded Brownsword Hepworth Gallery in Knightsbridge, Unseen Icons brings together a series of intimate portraits, photographed across a 25 year period. Griffin’s photographs often erase the preconceptions of these public and celebrated figures, capturing a sense of vulnerability and honesty, allowing the viewer a glimpse of the sitter’s true self.

Griffin’s work as a creative director within the entertainment industry meant he was able to forge close friendships with his sitters, who include Diana Ross, Amy Winehouse, Jon Bon Jovi, Adele, Sir Paul McCartney, HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duke of Cambridge. He identified in each icon a shared trait – the desire to promote self-belief and self-worth in others. This motivation is at the heart of all of his photography and film work.

Phil Griffin is a multidisciplinary artist, photographer and filmmaker. After graduating from Ballet Rambert as a dancer and choreographer, he performed for Jan Fabre before moving to MCA Records in London to commission art films, visual campaigns and music videos for international artists including Destiny’s Child, Rihanna, Prince and Jay-Z. Griffin’s approach involves diminishing his physical presence as much as possible, often eliminating any forms of staging – decisions that are highlighted by the artist’s use of negative space within a frame. Describing his process, he writes:

‘To me, a good photograph is never taken – but given. My job was to make myself available to capture these moments of stillness from each of my collaborators, so each portrait is a moment of pure truth and self-expression. My aim is to use these works to further the conversation about wellbeing in the arts and entertainment industry.’

The exhibition is the first step of a wider project that aims to promote the wellbeing of young people through art and expression. A proportion of the proceeds will be donated to support The Princes Trust & Amy Winehouse Foundation programs.

Image Credit: HRH Prince William, Unseen Icons, Brownsword Hepworth Gallery © Phil Griffin