"There is something about Annie Leibovitz that inspires people to reveal themselves...The Leibovitz touch is witty, humane, affectionately mocking. He"There is something about Annie Leibovitz that inspires people to reveal themselves...The Leibovitz touch is witty, humane, affectionately mocking. Here is arresting proof of the way Annie Leibovitz has revitalized the portrait..." - The New York Times Book Review.
Until I did put my hands on a photobook by Annie Leibovitz I was somewhat hesitant to call her more than a celebrity/fashion photographer, regardless of how talented she is. Now, I see that I was so childish and ignorant in my assumption.
One of the things that makes Leibovitz's photographs great, to stand out, is that these musicians, actors, designers or models - artist mainly - are almost seen laid bare, "with no guard or shield" as Annie said at one point in her Masterclass. Therefore, these famous and succesful people appear vulnerable, happy or sad, they are more authentically represented, they can be themselves, without trying to put on a persona, a "good show", to entertain and entertain...
The contrasts and aesthetics of some of the photos are really something, like Woody Allen standing in a pink environment or Muhammad Ali being dressed in black and laying on these red stairs. Every photograph of Annie tells a story, a way to see or present people, feelings.
I can't tell that this photographer or this writer/actor/musician is the greatest - because I would ignore the diversity and nuances of the others - but Leibovitz surely is among the greatest photographers of all time and it's an absolute pleasure to see her creativity at work and without sounding sexist, being a very succesful female photographer, she surely teached a lot of male photographers a lesson ha ha. And keeps inspiring everyone in her path.
P.S.: At the end of the book I had the thrill to read an interview with Leibovitz in which she tells a really interesting story about how she photographed the famous Cartier-Bresson. Also on the back cover a photo is taken of Annie by Robert Mapplethorpe. There you have it, three of the most special and outstanding photographers in one place....more
Robert Mapplethorpe has had a major impact on the photographic view of human beauty and its statuesque, highly esthetic nature of it. When you see hisRobert Mapplethorpe has had a major impact on the photographic view of human beauty and its statuesque, highly esthetic nature of it. When you see his photographs, it's rather the elegant, nostalgic and melancholic feel of the photos that make an impression, being less the part of objectification of the bodies or sexual take on it that could get your attention, like in the majority of todays magazines and fashion photography.
His portraits are somehow radiant, with not many facial features to be seen. That's probably because the american photographer wanted these creations to appear more like paintings, even - symmetrical as he liked to say - with not so many lights and shadows, rather than to give them that kinda ordinary, conventional look of people being photographed.
Joan Didion's annotation was a plus for this book, especially when it was said that the more you talk with others about your artistic process(Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mapplethorpe and others agreed on this), your creativity and inspiration, the smaller will the mistery around that particular passion get, the weaker the outcome of it all can be. Therefore, even if you don't realize it by talking about it, your personal satisfaction itself could diminish...