2015-03-01

Annie’s Big Book



Annie Lebovit’s – today’s most significant portrait photographer ­– was intrigued and challenged when Benedikt Taschen inquired about a special collection of her pictures to form a SUMO-sized book. It took several years for the creators and the artist to accomplish this project. Leibovitz had to choose from over 40 years of work. She decided to start with the very personal reportage she created for Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. Next came her wide and more sophisticated series of portraits for Vanity Fair and Vogue. Images of celebrities such as John Lennon and Yoko were mingled with other portraits that have never been shown before. The photographic mastery of Leibovitz was proven by some of her famous group portraits in atypical formats. Her pictures are in the same time intimate and iconic, stylistically extensive but also outstandingly hers. Leibovitz is often imitated, mainly by younger photographers, but her work is by some means straightaway distinguishable.

At the end of the Leibovitz collection we can find the black-and-white photograph of Richard Nixon’s helicopter. The scene shows the take-off from the White House after he resigned as president in 1974. Another picture presents the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, in formal colors, taken in a drawing room of Buckingham Palace in 2007. The photographs in the book can easily form a family album of our times: actors, dancers, comedians, musicians, artists, writers, performance artists, journalists, athletes, businesspeople. Performance and power are recurring themes. A supplementary book contains essays by Annie Leibovitz, Graydon Carter, Paul Roth, and Hans Ulrich Obrist and short texts describing the subjects of each of the over 250 photographs.


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