Wednesday, 2 October 2013

There is nothing stranger than truth

Her covers for Rolling Stone magazine (including the classic photo of John and Yoko) are legendary, and for Vanity Fair (where she caused controversy with that pregnant Demi Moore shot, and that teenage Miley Cyrus one), her "fold-out-special" covers have become an institution.

Annie Leibovitz has photographed everybody from Her Majesty the Queen to Dolly Parton, the Rolling Stones to Rihanna. She seems to have the "knack" for getting stars of all levels of fame and seriousness to appear in fantastic (and often fantasy) tableaux that are genuinely the work of a genius - not least, in Annie's work for Vogue.

Facts about Annie:
  • She was for many years the lover of the writer and activist Susan Sontag, author of Notes on Camp.
  • She was the first woman and only the second living artist to have an exhibition of her work at the National Portrait Gallery in London.
  • She was almost bankrupted by bad investments and property devaluation in 2009, and has since sold some of her properties and some photographic rights to repay her debts.
  • Her well-publicised (and entirely spurious) "spat" with Her Maj was subject to numerous apologies and and an investigation by the BBC, who had craftily edited footage of the photoshoot to "create" the story.

"I've created a vocabulary of different styles. I draw from many different ways to take a picture."

"You don't have to sort of enhance reality. There is nothing stranger than truth."

"I'm more interested in being good than being famous."

A personally-curated exhibition Annie Leibovitz: Pilgrimage is being shown from Friday at the Columbia Museum of Art in South Carolina.

Anna-Lou "Annie" Leibovitz (born 2nd October 1949)


  1. I have always wondered about that VF shot with Angelina Jolie and her son Maddox in bed together, looking like they just had sex.I remember looking at that shot and wondered if this was some sort of perverse parody of her flaunting of the incestuous relationship she was clearly having with her brother, (meanwhile rubbing his nose in the fact that SHE was the "movie star" and HE the disappointment of his father's hopes.)

    I have always' wondered whose idea that particular shot was, and if the bed had actually been dishevelled by sexual activity between Angelina and Annie.

    1. I have no idea about that particular photoshoot, but another of Annie's quotes was: "A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people.". Jx


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