“Marco Grob, NYC Milk Gallery”
When TIME Magazine publishers needed a top photographer to shoot and direct their seminal ‘Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience’ project marking the 10th anniversary of the twin towers terrorist attack, their choice was Swiss-born Marco Grob – a Hasselblad Master.
Grob spent a total of nine weeks at venues across America, working with TIME journalists and editors compiling a remarkable set of black and white portraits, which included President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Rudolph Giuliani, Admiral William McRaven (who masterminded the mission that killed Osama Bin Laden) and the only four survivors of the attack on Tower Two.
Go to www.time.com/time/beyond911
“There is absolutely no question in my mind that this shoot was the most important thing I have done” said Grob: “And almost certainly the most important thing I will ever do. It was way beyond intense. We worked non-stop. My assistant logged up to forty hours overtime every week during that time – but the resources we had from TIME were incredible. Everyone on the project knew how important this body of work would be as a testament – a record of pictures and words – ten years after the tragedy.” He added: “It was a tremendous honour to be asked to do this. I am Swiss-born but the US is my new home – and for me to be involved in the writing of this piece of history is just extraordinary.”
“Brian Clark, Survivor, World Trade Center”
During the shoots, four survivors who were on the 84th floor and above the point of impact as the plane struck Tower Two recalled the horrors of their experience to Grob and TIME reporters. One said: “I saw a plane coming at eye level towards me and it just kept getting larger. Then it tilted and crashed into the building.”
Said another: “What I saw was chunks of fireballs coming down from the sky.”
A third survivor added: “It looked like a war zone. A fireball was coming. I woke up three days later in hospital with 80 percent burns.”
Richard Stengel, managing editor at TIME said: “As the 10th anniversary approached we wanted to reflect on not just the memory of that day but also the defining moments of the 9/11 era. We sought out the voices of the decade; the first responders, the survivors, the men who took us to war and the troops who are still fighting it. They are the people who were most directly affected- and the ones who most directly affected us. These are stunning portraits by Marco Grob. Each person was interviewed separately but they were all asked the same question: ‘Where were you on September 11, 2001?’ ”
“Danny Riches, Tommy Riches, Timmy Riches, Firefighters, NYC Fire Department”
A multi-media exhibition of Marco Grob’s images and interviews for TIME was opened last Thursday (Sep 8) at a special event at New York’s Milk Gallery, hosted by the city’s mayor at the time of the attacks, Rudolph Giuliani. It will open to the public at large at the Chelsea NY venue on September 17.
Added Grob, whose is a leading celebrity photographer and works with clients including Tag Heuer and Walt Disney Studios: “I shot this series using the outstanding Hasselblad H4D-60 camera and every shoot we did ran like clockwork. The resolution element is amazing – most of the exhibition prints run to just over a metre wide and high but the biggest print, of a group of soldiers, is three metres high – the resolution and quality is sensational.”
Another key moment in Marco Grob’s professional career occurred two years ago when astronaut Buzz Aldrin used the only lunar Hasselblad with a digital back to take a picture of Marco. “The moon space programme was one of my first big memories” he says, “So to have Buzz take a photo of me was just a signal moment in my life...he’s a big Hasselblad fan too.”