The New Face of New York Politics: Cynthia Nixon Photographed by Marco Grob for New York Magazine
All eyes are on Cynthia Nixon. The New York native was a professional actress before even leaving school, shooting to fame in the New York-based series Sex and the City, but it’s the search for her next role that has the whole state talking. Just last month she announced her bid for Governor and already she’s changed the entire conversation. As the state turns their eyes towards Nixon’s run, New York Magazine featured her story for the cover and asked Marco Grob to photograph her.
Marco’s image is simple and singular: it’s an extreme close up of her face, filling the entire page offering itself as a proxy to the woman who is making the current governor, Andrew Cuomo, surprisingly fearful. We’re confronted with her human nature, her stillness, her presence. It’s a face we know from the stage and screen, but the state hasn’t known her to play the role of a politician before and she’s surprisingly effective.
In this short campaign, she’s already forced the governor left on issues like Marijuana Legalization, the embattled MTA, and New York’s unique faction of “Independent” Democrats who vote with the Republican caucus. The look on Nixon’s face in Marco’s image is one of confidence and serenity, a look that has put the fear of the future in Cuomo’s political career as his lead narrows despite a massive war chest and political apparatus.
There’s no telling how this election will end up. When Nixon threw her hat in the ring she was written off as a hapless celebrity, but as her poll numbers rise and her impact is already felt in Albany, NYC, and all over the state, this is turning out to be a much different kind of race than most of us expected. But from Marco’s cover of New York Magazine, it looks like Nixon knew this was coming the whole time.
Marco Grob's 22 Character Posters for Marvel's Latest
You know it’s coming. It’s been teased and previewed for years. The culmination of dozens of Marvel movies finally hits a crescendo this summer with the release of Marvel’s Infinity War. The massive story that began with Iron Man in 2008 will see a kind of climax with Infinity War, the first part of a two-part story that will be an end for many of the beloved characters we’ve met over the last 10 years. To call the movie Highly Anticipated is an understatement as Marvel fans across the world are looking forward to seeing how their favorite characters get past the world’s biggest threat and Marvel invited Marco Grob to help usher in this next biggest chapter. Like he did with Black Panther earlier this year, Marco teamed up with the comics juggernaut to create character posters for all the major players. 22 posters stretch the entire history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far with Iron Man, T’Challa, Captain America, and everyone in between.
When Marco created character posters for Black Panther, now the 10th highest grossing movie of all time, they were designed to give a taste of who each character was. He brought a stillness to those images, a regality. But for Infinity War, the immediacy of the moment is right there in the title and each poster shows the characters engaged in combat. Each image is full of energy and the stakes are high. There’s always an incredible amount of secrecy around every MCU release but this film’s veil has been unprecedented. And fans have never been more ravenous.
Check out some of the 22 different posters Marco photographed for the latest installment in the MCU, and get excited for the next chapter of this incredible series.
10 Years of Marvel's Cinematic Universe by Marco Grob
This weekend marks the opening of Black Panther, Marvel’s latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – and it looks like it’s about to be the biggest. Pre-sale tickets have outpaced even some of the strongest showing from Marvel's past and they’re on pace to place highest as number one. Black Panther will be one of the most successful films Marvel has ever created. From here it seems like an inevitability but it’s easy to forget that it was only 10 years ago that Marvel first jumped into this project with Iron Man, a movie that was by no means an experiment but also grew to be much larger than anticipated, kicking off a decade of superhero fever. To celebrate the ten year anniversary, Marvel invited Marco Grob to photograph the cast of this decade of movies, ultimately creating an image with dozens of actors filling roles in stories that cover centuries of storytelling on a handful of worlds, through uncountable space, and in multiple dimensions.
The photograph is so large, revealing a population so grand, it’s difficult to take in all at once. Each actor’s size in relation to the others pales in comparison to the entire composition, and that’s kind of the point. At this point, the MCU is larger than one actor, one character, or one story. Robert Downey Jr, who plays the titular character of the MCU’s first film stands front and center, but glance to another part of the image and you’ll find Michael B Jordan, the richly complex antagonist of Black Panther. Nearby is Bradley Cooper whose face is never seen in his multiple appearances since he plays a CGI raccoon. These are voices and faces we’ve be thrilled, terrified, and inspired by.
The rumors are that the next couple films will mean the end of the road for many of the actors in Marco’s photo that we’ve come to love over the last ten years, but Marvel’s plan to create movies extends far beyond the limited storylines that these actors were
Black Panther is a movie that was needed now, though it’s been needed since the beginning of this project. What better way to celebrate the end of one decade of storytelling and the beginning of the next?
Check out the Behind the Scenes video below, and Marco's posters for Black Panther.
Jeremy Corbyn Rolls Up His Sleeves with Marco Grob and British GQ
After Jeremy Corbyn sat for the cover of British GQ with Marco Grob rumors of the event exploded all over the media, with a bevy of stories about the story. Controversies and retractions followed, but what matters at the end of the day is one thing and one thing only: Marco took some fantastic pictures.
Corbyn is something of an anomaly, not just in UK politics but in all facets. Marco and Fashion Director Luke Day were able to get the Labour Party leader into a tie – an accessory he regularly avoids – dressing him up further than normal. For most politicians, especially at Corbyn’s level, a detail as simple as a tie in the House of Commons is unquestionable but Corbyn has made his career being accessible to the people, straight off the cuff, and always authentic. That persona is what’s made him so attractive to his fans and made for such a lovely shoot with Marco. Plus it’s also part of what’s so complex about Corbyn: he doesn’t look like any other politician. He doesn’t carry himself the same way, think the same way, or speak the same way.
GQ couldn’t have Corbyn on the cover of their Election Special and annual list of the 50 best-dressed men in a relaxed shirt, so they dressed him in Marks and Spencer, an affordable British brand – a responsible choice for the Labour leader. Corbyn is more buttoned up, and potentially more Prime Ministerial, on Marco’s cover than normal, but there’s still a glimpse of the Corbyn we know and recognize on the inside with a black and white image of Corbyn rolling up his sleeves – perhaps ready to get to work?
Marvel's 'Black Panther' Times Ten with Marco Grob
Calling Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ the most highly anticipated superhero movie in years is an understatement. Not only is Black Panther set to break records, it’s the first major film of the genre to feature a lead of color, a director of color, and a screenwriter of color. It’s a huge moment for representation in Hollywood, but also it just seems like the movie is going to be amazing. All eyes are on Ryan Coogler leading up to February’s release, and Marvel just released a slew of character posters for the film – a dizzying array of 10 different posters all shot by Marco Grob.
Marco is known for his work in Hollywood, creating brilliant character portraits. Character portraiture is something of a balancing act, because it represents an extension of the film. Marco must get honest and clear moments from these actors through the guise of their characters. Plus it has to look beautiful. At once he plays stylist, cinematographer, and director, juggling each role so that the final image captures a glimpse of a full story in a single composition. That’s tricky enough with one or two posters, but Marco did it ten times for Black Panther: an achievement by any measure.
What a treat to be a part of such a monumental movie, and a beautiful piece of it to boot.
Marco Grob Photographs Variety's Wonder Women
2016 offered us all a whole lot of lessons, not least of which is to be more aware of the overwhelming power of women. The fact that we must bring attention to their power is in and of itself a teachable moment, but until we see equality across the board it’s valuable for everyone to bask in representation and lifting voices for every little girl and everyone woman who have been told that they cannot achieve their dreams. That’s just not true anymore.
Every year Variety uses their massive reach as a brand to bring attention to a collection of women doing the important work of using their influence to benefit worthy causes. This year Variety chose to highlight six women: Jessica Chastain, Chelsea Clinton, Gayle King, Blake Lively, Audra McDonald, and Shari Redstone for their incredible work. And they invited Marco Grob to photograph each of these amazing ladies for a collection of six different covers, as well as a series portraits.
This is a unique challenge for Marco who photographs a dizzying array of celebrities, mostly as a way to promote their professional work. But these features are not about the latest movie or development deal, instead they’re about humans effecting humans, so Marco gives us a deeper, richer look. A gracious laugh from Clinton. A quiet moment with Lively. A commanding and uncompromising Chastain. These photographs show the versions of these women we always wanted to see, but never had the access. Marco gives us a peek at the people behind the stories we hear from them.
Each portrait comes with an interview that gets into the working moments of these women and who they are beyond the typical public story we’re used to seeing (and hearing about). We’re seeing more of what we want thanks to Marco’s invitation.
Bill Murray Is a Masterpiece Photographed by Marco Grob
Marco Grob has spent a career photographing dozens, if not hundreds, of the most recognizable, highest paid, most sought after celebrities in the world. Year after year a veritable checklist of Hollywood’s A-list and Washington’s elite pass in front of his camera, and it can become something of a blur. Every time he sits with someone it’s a special experience and he relates to them personally and individually. But no one is like Bill Murray. When GQ Germany asked Marco to meet up with Murray at New York’s Museum of Modern Art he knew it was going to be a unique experience. “I came up with the idea of him becoming a part of the art and the art becomes him. As if he lived literally at the place,” Marco explains. But Murray wasn’t the only variable that they had to work with. “The museum was open. It was a completely normal day, a Wednesday afternoon, with thousands of people. All the sudden Bill Murray was there and I think they had a field day that day, that’s for damn sure. They had so much fun.”
Marco and his team kept everything handheld and on the fly because they didn’t have time to shut down portions of the museum. They stayed super agile over the 3.5 hour shoot. This kind of run-and-gun shooting could be a big risk if the subject isn’t ready to play along. But Bill Murray was. “He wants to make it count,” says Marco. “He wants to make something unique and beautiful, and he played off that idea greatly and made it his own. He just took it as a jump off point and then really gave his own interpretations.” Not every celebrity is willing to try every idea, and not every celebrity will commit to something even if they do agree to it. But Murray worked with Marco to offer the best version of their collaboration he could. “When he likes an idea he takes it and brings it to another level,” Marco says. “He is just a generally very kind and nice guy and beautiful to work with.”
To make a shoot like this happen it wasn’t just Murray’s collaboration that Marco needed but also the Museum’s. The MoMA worked with Marco to get every shot they could while still keeping traffic flowing and the exhibits open. It required a lot of generosity and trust from the museum. “I appreciate them, I’m very thankful for that,” Marco says. “It was real and I could not in my wildest dreams hope that Bill was picking up on it and made it such an incredible thing. It was really something really, really special for us.”
Marco Grob Tells the Unfortunate Tale with Netflix
You may not want to read any further for what we are about to describe is an inspiring tale of creative collaboration but for the purpose of telling a very, very sad tale. The miserable story is, of course, A Series of Unfortunate Events, a new Netflix series that brings the unenviable yarn of the Baudelaire Children as told by Lemony Snicket to the smaller screen (or tablet, or smartphone, however you get your streaming media). Netflix asked famed entertainment photographer, and frequent Netflix collaborator, Marco Grob, to help them visualize this most daringly morose of sagas.
What they created together is a perfect construction of the decidedly wicked Count Olaf (played by Neil Patrick Harris) as he spies upon the poor Baudelaire trio from his obviously nefarious spyglass – the name for which we did not choose as a way to spoil any part of the show but you should know it was chosen quite purposefully. Not only does the image - created pixel by pixel thanks to Marco’s detailed work – encapsulate the ghastly state of affairs for the Baudelaires, it also reveals the production design that is rich with references, clues, and more than a happy life’s amount of shadows.
We cannot in good conscience tell you to watch the show – "Look away! Look away!" proclaims the theme music. But if you must, it’s already streaming on Netflix.
(At the very least, we beg you watch through your fingers.)
Out Now: B&A Journal 9
Bernstein & Andriulli is more than an international agency with some of the best agents in the world, we’re a home for artists. Our roster represents creative forces that we truly believe in and whose work we want to spread to every corner of the globe. These artists are incredible talents and incredible minds, and as much as we show off all the best projects that they work on sometimes you need to get a taste of it yourself. That’s why we introduced the B&A Journal.
Every few months we pick some of the best work that’s come out of the agency and feature it in a large format, printed journal for friends, fans, and clients to thumb through at their leisure and experience the work of these world class artists in an intimate and tangible way. This week we’re releasing B&A Journal 9, and we couldn’t be more excited.
In addition to a beautiful cover shot by Ben Rayner, and dedicated pages for dozens of our artists (featured here are Platon, Marco Grob, Stephen Wilkes, Rose Blake, Guillaume Lechat, We Are The Rhoads, Serial Cut, Shotopop, and Radio), we’ve also included a special insert with this edition that formally announces our Murals department that includes a roster of public artists that rivals the best in the game.
B&A Journal 9 should be hitting your mailbox very soon - and if you want to make sure you get a copy reach out! We’d love to hear from you.
The First Presidential Debate
If everything goes as planned tonight’s Presidential Debate will be the most watched debate in American history, and likely the world. The 90 minutes that the candidates will spend on the stage together with Lester Holt will be the most viewed political discussion in human history, an event that will not soon be forgotten by those who watch it.
As an artists agency we’re lucky that we constantly butt up again history, and tonight is no different. A handful of our photographers have met with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump for various projects and we present a selection of that work here.
Most recently, Hillary Clinton sat for Joe Pugliese with her Vice Presidential Nominee Tim Kaine. It was a quick, productive shoot for People Magazine that struck the tone Clinton was probably angling for. She comes off as warm and open, both elements her fans love and her detractors say are missing.
Joe has also photographed Trump. Last fall he tailed The Don for a day from the office to the street, to receiving adulation from his fans. It was the early days of the campaign long before anyone could even guess he’d be the nominee. But here we are a year later and it’s all eyes on Trump as he prepares to take on Clinton who has, arguably, been preparing for this moment her whole professional life.
Through his own storied career Marco Grob has also had the opportunity to work with both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, bringing his signature gravitas to these two political animals that have their own versions of what leadership means. Marco also embedded in Obama’s White House, giving us looks at what the Presidency means that we haven’t seen before.
In 2012 when Barack Obama was Inaugurated for the second time, Stephen Wilkes set up for his signature ‘Day to Night’ series, photographing the whole day that hundreds of thousands of Americans collected on the National Mall to watch their President take the oath of office for the final time.
Finally, Douglas Friedman had the opportunity to photograph Hillary Clinton in 2013 for the cover of New York Magazine in a shoot that decontextualized this woman who brings with her a career of work and controversy, offering her up unadorned and markedly human.
Marco Grob Slows Down with adidas
Marco Grob has photographed the most famous people in the world. Scarcely a week goes by where there isn’t a new movie poster or tease of an upcoming film or TV show that Marco hasn’t photographed. He’s photographed the last president, the current president, and the next president - both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump appear in his portfolio. During shoots like those he’s working with people that have incredible demands on their time and he has to condense his process into a tiny window. But when he’s called on by brands like adidas to help them create a holistic campaign, he can relax into the process a little bit. “In seconds and minutes it’s really important to me that I feel the client got the best thing out of their time,” he says. “But if you shoot something like adidas you have much more time just to get that right.” Because he’s so adept at achieving results in a condensed space, a lugubrious energy means a campaign like his for adidas reaches a much wider scope.
For this project Marco went down to South Africa and met up with five women who would be his models. Nomuzi Mabena, Emma Jane Menteath, Amanda DuPont, Nandi Mngoma, and Jessica Ashley-Cooper represent music, TV, sports, and other disciplines in South Africa, but also represent a unique view of fame. “For me, in a weird way, fame is hollow,” Marco explains. “It’s not so important anymore and kind of democratizes people tremendously which I think is a good thing. As a portrait photographer it’s a really important thing. It was very playful, very easy, the talent was very sweet, and the team was nice.” Marco works with famous people every day, so it’s less and less impressive to him in general, but as the line between social media and advertising blurs, he’s able to connect with more and more people who live lives farther away from the washed finish of the famous. This texture adds a richness to his campaigns and allows for work that connects a little closer with the message.
One of the perks of this particular campaign was getting to revisit South Africa. “I lived and started my career in South Africa and it’s a big deal,” says Marco. “So every way for me to get down there is a good thing, something I always appreciate.” These women all represent South Africa, they’re all recognizable faces there. But Marco is interested in what makes them human, how they interact with each other, and how they interact with the world. At the end of the day it’s all about revealing moments of life and he did just that.
Marco Grob Takes On Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson is a man of complex imagery. He retired from his storied career not without controversy and since that day has jumped into a different kind of creative performance that includes acting and his own one man show. By all accounts, since his retirement from boxing he’s become a much more subdued figure, something that Marco Grob can attest to. “He’s a very shy kind of silent guy,” says Marco. “But very sweet, very forthcoming, and he played along like a charm.” Tyson played along while they were shooting the cover story for the Chinese version of Elle Men Magazine. They were standing outside Tyson’s own house, in a makeshift studio that Marco created not only for convenience but to engender a relationship between subject and camera that is crucial to Marco’s work.
“I always try to create some form of intimacy,” explains Marco. “I think it’s interesting for people to see a part of public figures, people who have the fame of Mike Tyson. And there’s a certain perception of Mike Tyson also in the public so, it’s interesting to maybe break that.” The images we get of Tyson from Marco are reserved and almost contemplative, especially the cover. This is a different way of seeing Tyson, one we’re not used to seeing. But that’s what a photographer does: shows us something that we’ve never seen, or something we know in a totally different way.
As a photographer, Marco gets to change the conversation over and over, photographing celebrities and advertising alike to reveal new parts of the world for us, and explore narratives that normally go unseen. It’s part of what makes his job so fun for him, and the shoot with Tyson is a phenomenal example of that. “It was a total awesome experience,” he says. “I’m very happy that I can do what I do.”
Marco Grob Finds Humanity in the Super Human
Our world is full of wonder. We know less about the bottom of the ocean floor than we do about the surface of our moon. The human brain is still a mass of mysteries. We’re not even sure how cats purr. But those mysteries pale in comparison to the stories that we tell each other. Stephen King has long been considered the Master of Horror but his magnum opus, The Dark Tower Series, edges further in to fantasy than most other stories that he’s written. It’s finally coming to the big screen in a series of films starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, and who better to give us a first look at this hotly anticipated film than Marco Grob?
Marco was invited by Entertainment Weekly to photograph their revealing cover that shows off these two actors for the first time ever, and it’s a project that Marco leapt at. “Amazing actually,” he says. “I think both of them are within the absolute best actors right now. I was extremely thrilled that we could work with them. That was really amazing. The collaboration was great.” Each of these gentlemen transformed a little bit in front of Marco’s eyes, transforming into a balance of themselves and their characters, and Marco was able to give shape to those interactions, carrying it to a cover shot. We don’t want to reveal any spoilers but both of the characters they play are larger than life, larger than human, so it’s a fine balance to highlight the humanity behind those characters and put them in the context of a magazine cover.
Marco lends his talents time and time again to stories that extend our visions of reality. Whether it’s a series of spots for Netflix’s Daredevil, or the movie posters for Marvel’s The Avengers and Captain America: Civil War, Marco takes larger than life superheroes and villains and creates the visual language for us to contextualize and understand them. But Marco is unique in his ability to speak to us in that way because he finds the realism inside of it. Personally, Marco is passionate about stories that are rooted firmly in reality so when he has a superhero in front of him that’s what he looks for, draws out, and shows us. He gives us the truth behind the mystery, the humanity in the super human. And it helps the rest of us understand them more completely.
B&A's Seven American Photography Winners
Each year American Photography releases their compendium of images from the last year that they found to be most arresting. This isn’t an award delivered to a photographer for the work they did that year, instead this is given to particular photographs regardless of who was behind the camera or what else that photographer achieved that year. Each image is chosen for what fits between the edges of the image, without the drag of reputation or expectation.
This year, nine images from seven B&A photographers earned the distinction to be featured in AP32, the thirty second collection of these accolades. Please join us in congratulating Chloe Aftel, Jamie Chung, Tara Donne, Marco Grob, Steven Laxton, Joe Pugliese, and Michael Turek.
Chloe Aftel’s attention grabbing shot was for Billboard Magazine. Shot on location at Ms. Brownstein's home in Portland, the image was paired with a short interview. The Portlandia star and Sleater-Kinney rocker offers a dozen looks at her characters through her creative ventures, but catching Carrie at home is something her fans are always hungry for. Chloe’s portrait shows us the woman behind the characters and music, displaying a quiet readiness that exudes with the creative generosity we’ve come to expect from her.
One of the biggest stories from this past year has been the incredible rise of Donald Trump as a political figure and how he’s galvanized a section of the American electorate. Jamie Chung’s incredible visualization of this stratospheric rise graced the cover of The New York Times Magazine in a unique image that saw Mr. Trump as a balloon. Jamie was particularly careful with how the placement of the balloon in the composition of the image. Balloons rise and fall, but it’s up to you to decide where Trump’s balloon is in its journey.
This fall Tara Donne shared with all of use her recipe for Hazelnut Pumpkin Tart and it caught enough attention that AP had to include her photograph in AP32. Don’t let the sumptuous look of the dessert fool you: this is for all of our friends, including those who are gluten free. Tara’s ‘Wild Apple’ project is an ongoing online magazine that proves a gluten free lifestyle isn’t a taste-free lifestyle, and invites you to find out for yourself. Dig in!
It’s been half a century since the Beach Boys recorded ‘Pet Sounds,’ but the story of the band’s front man, Brian Wilson, will live on in infamy. His complex past is the subject of the upcoming biopic ‘Love & Mercy,” and the subject of a illuminating portrait by Marco Grob for Variety Magazine. Marco’s image finds the musician in a haze, considering the piano keys at his hand, opening a window for us into a private moment before his story becomes ever more public.
Kathoey cabarets are a popular tourist destination for travellers in Thailand. The ‘ladyboys’ that perform are one of the country’s brightest international delights, but under the glitz and glam is a highly choreographed puzzle that keeps the theaters running and holds the hopes and reams of the performers. Steven Laxton got access backstage to the world that supports this movement in a series of images that was featured by The New Yorker.
Joe Pugliese has three different photos featured in AP32 this year.
When he sat with Christopher Walken for a Saturday Night Live anniversary issue of The Hollywood Reporter, he found a man so at the top of his game that Joe was merely an audience for what Christopher had to offer that day. And it was exactly what Joe wanted.
His portrait of Dr Dre came as a part of a Beats cover story for Wired that examined the history of the brand from its inception to its acquisition by Apple and how it operates under its new identity. The unique story allowed Joe to explore color and play with light in new ways.
Leading up to the Oscars, Joe sat down with six A-List actors to discuss the state of Hollywood and where they fit within their craft. Samuel L. Jackson brought with him his signature energy that thundered through the portrait session, delivering the Sam Jackson the public has come to love. But there was one moment of stillness that Joe was able to capture, catching Jackson in a unique instant and catching AP’s accolades.
As athletes feel called deeper towards nature, open water swimming has taken off all over the world. Michael Turek teamed up with a group of mataeur swimmers who take a five day aquatic trek over twenty miles of ocean that separates the British Virgin Islands. One of Michael’s images for this commission by British Airways High Life was tapped for AP32.
Marco Grob Shows Us More of Netflix's Daredevil
In the golden age of television we have artists telling stories at an unprecedented level. This is long form storytelling at its best, with season after season of a single narrative telling stories at unprecedented depth with groups of characters as complex as the people who watch them. The hunger for good stories has gotten so rich that companies like Netflix have started telling their own stories, a proposition that would have been ridiculous even five years ago. As these stories become deeper and more complex, advertising them becomes trickier. Distilling massive stories into a few still images is an intimidating challenge but one that is countered by motion. Over the course of fifteen seconds artists like Marco Grob can tell a little bit more of the story, enticing new audiences to a better representation of the show. For Daredevil’s newest season, Netflix asked Marco to help them out by creating five different motion spots to get their audience excited for their next chapter.
Each spot gives each character a voice. Whether it's Daredevil caught tied up on a rooftop chimney stack, or an introduction to The Punisher malevolently holding Daredevil's mask, there's insight into each character and what they bring to the show. It is a drama after all, and that drama comes from these characters, their goals, and their relationships with each other. In Marco’s spots we get something that we don’t get to see in the show. Each moment has a stillness that offers a window into each character’s life, their actions, and how they’re interacting with the events of the story. It’s easy to forget, when caught in the torrent of a rampaging tale, that these are fully realized people who have moments on their own and came from a full life before the events of the show. As a comic based narrative, there is a fantasy to it, but its rooted in real life. Marco reminds us of those lives and how they each fit into this larger story. Not to mention, he makes us excited this blockbuster show is about to return to our screens.
Happy Holidays: 2015 in Review
As we come together with loved ones and friends to close the year, we’d like to take this time to reflect on some of our favorite moments from the last year. Included here is a list of some of our favorite stories we’ve had the pleasure to share with our community and friends. This year our artists helped usher in the next generation of Star Wars stars, discovered what bacteria lurk in NYC’s subways, sent hundreds of mean postcards to adoring fans, and put their own stamp on the 2016 Presidential campaign.
Our artists have done amazing things, so let’s take some time to remember some of the best stories from 2015 before turning our focus to the New Year.
We hope you have Wonderful Holidays, and a Happy New Year.
Weeks before Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit theaters, Marco Grob photographed the cast of the highly anticipated movie for Time Magazine. Not only did he get to photograph the human stars, he also got to spend time with the famous R2-D2 and meet the newest favorite: BB-8.
Riding the New York City subway can be a precarious situation, not because of the unpredictable riders but because of what lurks on the handrails. Craig Ward wanted to see what exactly he has holding onto every day and the answers were both beautiful and revolting.
Sawdust and Nike Reach New Heights
One project with international powerhouse Nike is celebration enough, but when Sawdust teamed up with the athletic juggernaut for three bespoke typefaces it was an honor. Not only were they creating these solutions for Nike, but they'd be paired with LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Kevin Durant, three of the most powerful names in basketball. What they created turly elevated the game.
This year Joey L joined Annie Leibovitz, Erwin Olaf, and David LaChapelle as a photographer for Lavazza's annual calendar. With the theme “From Father to Son,” Joey L examined how the tradition of sustainable farming is passed on from generation to generation, and how food gets to our tables from around the world.
People's Sexiest Man Alive is always a hotly watched and eagerly awaited issue, and frequently their most popular. When Marc Hom got the call to photograph their non-traditional choice this year, David Beckham, it was an honor and a thrill. And on the day of the shoot, Beckham didn't disappoint.
For more than a decade Stephen Wilkes has been pursuing his ongoing personal project of condensing an entire day into a single photograph. This year, Stephen showed off some of his favorite shots at the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, a great way to look back on all the work he's done, and look forward to what's still to come.
Over the course of months with locations stretching from The Costume Institute to the Louvre's vault, and even the private archive of Yves Saint Laurent, Platon captured the epic vastness of the Met's latest blockbuster. "China: Through the Looking Glass" examines how China's history has impacted the rest of the world through design influence, and Platon was able to photograph every step along the way.
Mr. Bingo's ongoing series "Hate Mail" pits the artist against those who pay for the pleasure of being berated by him through the post. Enough fans have gotten their kicks this way that he turned them all into a book that catalyzed an enormously successful Kickstarter. Books are available for purchase now!
Living a life in the limelight isn't always easy, so when We Are The Rhoads teamed up with Taylor Swift for their latest Keds campaign, they immediately found common ground. By creating a safe space the mega celebrity was able to focus on the moments with Sarah and Chris, resulting in images that are effortlessly Taylor.
Style is communication and a stylist has the power to shape how their subject communicates to the world. For Uzo Aduba's cover of As If Magazine, Stacey Jones dove into feminine luxury, offering the Emmy Award winning actress the opportunity to step away from the orange jumpsuits that her fans so often see her in.
Paris is a hotbed of fashion and style, making it a dream destination for many and attracting artists from all over the world. Tom Corbett is no different. On his latest assignment for Somerset he really sank his teeth into the city, taking advantage of every block and street corner, capturing the beauty of the city and the ease of its powerful energy.
It's hard to describe Donald Trump's political rise, so sometimes the best option is to not even try. When The New York Times Magazine tasked Stanley Chow and Jamie Chung with an image that spoke to the story they got right to work on something that felt honest but was also a lot of fun.
When Marcus Bleasdale began his work as a photojournalist it was to make a difference, but an artist can never be sure if their hopes are going to come to fruition. Marcus' has. His work with Human Rights Watch has lead to changes in law, and even helped end a war. Their joint gallery show, "Impact," proved it.
Chipotle has seen better days, but before their troubles they made a very solid decision when they asked Harriet Russell, Sarah J. Coleman, Adam Hayes, and Dave Homer to create illustrations for their bags and cups. Each illustrator was paired up with a writer whose pieces were to serve as the inspiration, and the results are as delicious as you can imagine.
Ken Fulk is a master at interior design, and Douglas Friedman is a master at photographing interiors. When the two came together in a show-stopping shoot of Elle Decor, Fulk's vision leapt off the page thanks to Douglas' unique ability to translate space into flawless photographic composition.
Bernie Sanders represents one of the most interesting political stories this season, and like any political character his whole persona is hard to distill into a single image (even a photograph!). Ryan McAmis took his time, and dug deeply into his bag of tricks, creating a portrait for the cover of National Journal that is as honest a representation as we've ever seen.
It's not every day that passion projects turn directly into corporate campaigns, but when UPS saw Brian Doben's "At Work" series they knew they needed it for themselves. Brian extended the project, meeting with read UPS customers that happened to run their own small businesses, to see what it's really like to work with a company that caters to their needs.
Cinemagraphs are becoming more and more popular, but Chloe Aftel was there since day one. In fact, she's sort of become a go-to photographer to create these captive moments that she finds particular expressive because of their ability to inject more emotion and more story.
Sometimes the best way to talk about serious issues is with a good laugh, so when Todd Selby linked up with Evolve on a series of gun safety PSA they imagined what other things kids get into. Whether it's playing with condoms like balloons, or tampons like Wolverine's claws: the kids will get into anything and, most of the time, it can be hilarious.
Few artists are as closely watched as Banksy whose work is discussed and devoured the world over, so when James Joyce got the call to be included in Banksy's latest installation it was a no-brainer. James' contributions ended up including the cover of Dismaland's catalogue, a piece that has now been distributed the world over and marked as a coveted accomplishment for any creative CV.
We cannot pretend we know what the future will hold, but if we had to bet we'd bet on Roof Studios' vision. They were tasked with glimpsing ahead for a spot with Toshiba that envisions how our relationship with technology will continue to deepen and grow, and shows us what that will look like.
Ice Skating GIF by Nomoco.
Star Wars' Past and Future with Marco Grob for Time Magazine
Sometimes it feels like the original Star Wars trilogy came out a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. So much about American culture has changed in the nearly four decades since we were first introduced to Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia. Alec Guinness, the actor who played Obi-Wan Kenobi, one of the most recognizable characters from the series, famously thought the movie would most likely be a dud but the franchise that has grown out of that one movie is now one of the most significant stories from the last century. This is a history that Marco Grob was acutely aware of stepping into when he agreed to shoot portraits of this generation's Star Wars stars for Time Magazine.
As a photographer, Marco speaks a visual language. It's how he communicates his ideas and executes his vision. When George Lucas brought his vision to life in the 70s and 80s, the technology largely didn't exist to bring those ideas to life, but he figured out ways to do it and forever changed the way films were made. “They are not only a part of cultural history as a cultural phenomenon, but what I also love about it is they always push the envelope the way films are done,” says Marco. “And the way they are done in any aspect, technical, formal, sound, camera tricks, and CGI, to say the least.” Marco allowed those advances filter into his images for Time Magazine, most noticeably the coloring from the original trilogy. The “used future” that formed Star Wars’ aesthetic lent a certain tone to the story that Marco drew upon for these photographs.
Before ‘A New Hope’ (the first Star Wars film), the world largely didn't know who Mark Hamill or Carrie Fisher was (Harrison Ford was already making himself known with American Graffiti), but after these movies their entire careers were made. It happens time and time again, franchise to franchise, blockbuster to blockbuster and as one of the go-to photographers for Hollywood Marco sees it happen all the time. He knows it's going to happen this time. “It’s nice to have conversations with people in a part of their lives where it will change forever,” Marco says about sitting with these actors, especially Oscar Isaacs. “They don’t even know what hit them. They think it’s going to change a bit but they don’t know how much it will change.”
It's not just the human actors, though. R2D2 and C-3PO are icons of the Star Wars culture, and for The Force Awakens JJ Abrams has introduced BB8: the newest droid we're going to love. Time asked Marco to photograph both R2D2 and BB8 and lucky for him the droids showed up to set in fully working order. They are stars in their own right, and Marco seized the moment. “The droids drove around and I have footage of BB8 talking with me, and R2D2 running after me,” Marco says. “So that’s pretty cool to say the least. It was amazing.”
As a fan of the series, Marco was excited to step into the world and create imagery that will help to introduce the people behind the newest chapter of this epic tale, but now that his portion of the shoot and press has passed, he’s able to appreciate how monumental it was. “It was so crazy to a certain extent to have a chance to do it and to be a part, even so remotely, of the biggest cultural phenomenon of this year or of years to come, even,” says Marco. “It’s just a huge deal.”
Marco Grob and Time Magazine Take a Year in Space with NASA
When Neil Armstrong was walking on the moon, Marco Grob was in Switzerland watching, enraptured. It ignited a curiosity in him that has never abated. “My first recallable memory in my life is the moon landing,” Marco says. “For a Swiss guy with my background we would watch everything space related like it was The Big Thing.” As the years went on and agencies found themselves reaching towards the stars, Marco was on the ground with his eyes locked on the same celestial map. It all happened an arm’s length away, playing itself out on TV. Until now.
On March 27 of this year, astronaut Scott Kelly launched out of Kazakhstan to the International Space Station where he’s spending a year in Earth’s orbit as a way to better understand how humans are impacted by time in space and help us prepare for manned missions to Mars. But long before Kelly escaped the Earth’s atmosphere, Marco and Shaul Schwarz began their work with Time Magazine to document Scott’s preparation for this historic journey, for a series called “A Year in Space.”
When they started doing the work with Kelly and Time, Marco and Shaul didn’t have the approval of NASA yet. They had the story with Time, but not NASA. Instead, they just jumped in to tell the story. After connecting with Kelly time and time again, he saw the value and depth of the story Time was trying to tell, they were all able to convince NASA.
A large part of Kelly’s preparations for the trip are practice space walks, conducted in a gigantic water tank. Marco and the rest of the team were able to join Kelly on his last practice run before launch, providing them access to parts of astronaut training that had never been seen before. These dives simulate the experience of being in space, complete with suits and creating actual reliance on life support technology. For these reasons, Marco and the team had to train for their singular session with Kelly. “It was probably the hardest thing any of us had ever done. It was really intense,” Marco says. “When we went into the spacewalk with Scott it became clear pretty quickly why the training was so hard. We were under water for probably seven hours.” The challenge wasn’t simply how difficult it is to be under water managing equipment and staying alive. Marco and the rest of the team also had to shoot a series. “With shooting you go through air more quickly, it distracts you from other elements you need to pay attention to during diving,” he explains.
Over the course of filming, they visited Kelly at home, meeting his family, and conducting interview after interview. They found themselves friends on the other side of filming, and more than six months after they met, Marco watched Kelly get launched into space. Which, let’s not forget, is incredibly dangerous. “The take off was extremely, extremely emotional for us because we became friends with the man,” Marco says. “They strap him on top of a tank with liquid oxygen and petrol and then they light a candle. And you see that so many times on TV. But when you know the man and you’ve spent time with the guy and you were at his house, and he was at my house. It’s nerve-wracking. It’s scary and brutal and loud. That was unforgettable.”
Bernstein & Andriulli is thrilled to welcome Marco Grob to our roster. You can find his portfolio here.
The trailer for A Year in Space as well as the first two episodes can be seen on Time.com.