Annie Leibovitz new book: history frozen on 476 pages.
In the world of photography there are few names as distinguished as Annie Leibovitz. Born in Connecticut in 1949, her first foray into photography began during the time she studied painting at the San Francisco Art Institute; various jobs ensued, but her real break came in 1970 when she got a job as a staff photographer for Rolling Stones magazine.
The rest, as they say, is history. Leibovitz was the last person to photograph John Lennon, for the famous nude picture with Yoko Ono, taken just five hours before Lennon was shot dead. She was also the first woman to photograph Joan Armatrading for an album cover. She has taken portraits of Queen Elizabeth II and made waves with her portrait of a 15 year old Miley Cyrus.
All this has now been collected in an amazing 476 page book that comes with its very own tripod, and clocks in at $2500 for the standard edition or $5000 for the Art edition.
Covering all 40 years of her career, the book is a stunning expose of some of the most iconic pictures ever taken. Even if you’re not familiar with the name, you’ll recognize the work. There are over 250 photographs contained within the book, and iconic images such as Nixon’s helicopter taking off from the Whitehouse lawn after he resigned in 1974 are included amongst them. Classic portraits are included in the collection too; Whoopi Goldberg, David Byrne, Patti Smith and Keith Harring, not to mention Queen Elizabeth II, are just some of the subject matter on show in this stunning collection. Familiar shots of Lennon and Yoko are mixed throughout with some of Leibovitz’s less well known pieces, some of which have never even been shown before.
As with all great photographers Liebovitz has created a signature style, but unlike most, her style has oscillated over the years between various extremes. An absolute master of lighting, mood and visual prose she effortlessly captures feelings of spontaneity in even the most staged of pictures. This new, self titled work is the culmination of a lifetime’s work as one of the world’s most admired artists. As much a centre piece to a room as an actual book, the price tag, for those who can afford a little indulgence, is justified. Captured within its pages is history unfolding, popular culture, iconic events, and life changing moments. All of it taken from the perspective of a woman, whose eye for an image is simply unmatched.