Dutch photographer and filmmaker Anton Corbijn was awarded the prestigious Prince Bernhard Culture Fund award on Monday evening and promptly used the prize money of €75,000 ($100,000) to set up a fund of his own to support cultural projects in The Hague.
Many friends and colleagues were present at the ceremony. Bono, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin and German singer/actor Herbert Gronemeyer were backed by the Metropole Orchestra as they sang for Corbijn at the prizegiving in Amsterdam.
Officials for the Prince Bernhard Culture Fund described Corbijn as “an international example for photographers, designers and art directors” as well as “an important image maker of the popular culture of his generation.”
In his acceptance speech Corbijn said, “I always took cautious steps on a dark muddy path, which now appears to have been an easy-to-pass road. But to me it seemed like I was stuck in the mud for some time.”
He went to great lengths to highlight the abysmal state of art funding in the Netherlands. According to Corbijn, the plan ‘is a way of giving the finger to the ostrich arts policy pursued by this government which is also housed in The Hague.'”
The photographer was referring to the government’s hefty cuts in spending on the arts and culture.