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.”