Spike Jonze’s Unreleased Björk Photos See the Light of Day


Twenty-nine years ago, Björk released one of the most iconic (and referenced) music videos of the 1990s: “It’s Oh So Quiet,” a track that follows the peaks and valleys of falling in and out of love. Directed by Spike Jonze, the four-minute clip features the filmmaker’s classic dreamy, up-close shots and surreal elements (a mailbox turns into a man in one scene, while Björk performs a tap dance in a tire store in another). The world didn’t know it at the time, but Jonze took thousands of photographs in the days leading up to shooting the video with the Icelandic musician in summer 1995 at Los Angeles’s Chateau Marmont.

Decades later, Opening Ceremony and Kenzo vet Humberto Leon stumbled upon sheets and sheets of those very photos while sifting through Jonze’s personal archive. “Spike and I are best friends—I met him and Björk through Opening Ceremony,” Leon told W over e-mail. “I asked to see Spike’s archives and wanted to help him organize them. Through that, I was able to find some unique collections.”

The designer and restaurateur knew these previously unseen images had to get a proper showing—so he and Jonze collaborated with WeTransfer to create a free, downloadable ’zine featuring the pictures, titled The Day I Met Björk. Anyone can check out the intimate photos of the singer and songwriter, either online or IRL at Leon’s Los Angeles restaurant and gallery space Arroz & Fun, where 25 images have been mounted (limited physical copies of The Day I Met Björk are also on offer at the location beginning February 15). “Spike has been such an inspiration,” Leon, who curated the project, added. “When I saw these images I wanted to share them with the world.” Scroll through a selection of the cozy and warm pictures—which bear a touch only Spike Jonze could create, and feature Björk like you’ve never seen her before—and check out more here.

Photograph by Spike Jonze

Photograph by Spike Jonze

Photograph by Spike Jonze

Photograph by Spike Jonze

Photograph by Spike Jonze

Photograph by Spike Jonze



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