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November 21, 2023

Wonderful Portraits of Björk in London Taken by Mark McNulty, 1993

“I got into music and photography at the same time, but it took me quite some time, years later, for those two things to collide.” – Mark McNulty is talking about the collision that came to define his life and career as a photographer.

That same collision has given us a close-up view of some of the world’s most successful artists and a fascinating insight into the live music scene. From Bjork to Paul Weller, Manic Street Preachers to Diana Ross, Anfield to Eurovision, Mark was there, camera in hand, ready to capture them.

“Bjork was just lovely. I’m not sure how famous she was at the time. She’d left The Sugarcubes and was in the process of releasing her first solo album Debut. She was moving away from their indie sound and she’d moved to London which was in the throws of acid house. In fact the last thing that The Sugarcubes released was a ‘dance remix’ album, which included the Justin Robertson remix of “Birthday” which is still my all time favorite remix.

“At the time of the shoot, a lot of her photos were quite serious and Mixmag (this was my second cover story for the magazine) had asked for something silly. She walked in, wearing a jumper from Sign of the Times in Kensington High Street market, spent two minutes fixing herself up in the mirror and then spent the next half hour or so pulling faces at the camera.”

“I’d asked her if she could ‘go gozzy’ but she wasn’t sure what I was on about. So i explained it meant cross eyed and she spent the whole session pulling all kinds of stupid faces. It’s amazing how many photographs we take these days, now that we don’t have to pay for film, but this shoot consisted of 45 shots across three contact sheets. Then she called a cab, I took a few more pics on a compact camera whilst we waited, and then off she went. The following week I was back in the same studio, for another Mixmag cover, this time with D:Ream and they spent the best part of two hours in hair and make up.”

(Photo by © Mark McNulty)

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