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- npg number matching 'p957'

© Brian Griffin

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by Brian Griffin
bromide print, 1986
13 7/8 in. x 13 7/8 in. (353 mm x 352 mm)
Purchased, 2002
Primary Collection
NPG P957

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • Brian Griffin (1948-2024), Photographer. Artist or producer of 36 portraits, Sitter in 3 portraits.

This portraitback to top

This is the fifth portrait from a series which celebrates a life or particular achievement. This photograph was originally commissioned by Michael Young for The Times and involved the building of an elaborate set including a galaxy of ping-pong balls. Brian Griffin came to prominence as a photographer for his innovative contributions to Management Today magazine and work for record companies and was the subject of a one-person show Work' at the National Portrait Gallery in 1989.

Linked publicationsback to top

Events of 1986back to top

Current affairs

Hampton Court Palace is devastated by fire. Much of the third floor and the roof of the building were destroyed, although, thanks to the courage of the fire fighters, only one painting and one piece of furniture were ruined.
Prince Andrew, Duke of York, marries Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey.

Art and science

Poems on the Underground, the brainchild of American writer Judith Chernaik, is launched by London Underground. A rolling programme of poems is displayed in tube train carriages, bringing contemporary and classic poetry to commuters.
The Independent Newspaper is first published.
Artists, Gilbert and George win the Turner Prize.


An explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power station leads to nuclear meltdown in the reactor and causes massive nuclear contamination over Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, western Europe, the UK and Ireland, and even North America. The 2005 Chenobyl Forum attributed 56 direct deaths to the disaster and estimated that 9,000 people may die from some form of cancer as a result of exposure to radiation.

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Jón Poppé

07 February 2021, 21:00

Brian told me himself that this portrait was composed entirely in-camera, in a single exposure, with some very quick action from himself and his assistant. And, yes, the planets are ping-pong balls.