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A Photographer's Life: 1990-2005 Hardcover – 1 Sep 2006
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"Annie Leibovitz's photographic memoir of the past fifteen years in her life captures powerful, intimate moments. . . . She juxtaposes the most personal against the full-color flash of celebrities and the grandeur of the natural landscape against the bloody horror of war. A Photographer's Life is a testament to a life lived large-and in full embrace."--"More "magazine
"Her fans may be astonished both by the range of the work and the unstudied, everyday quality of some of the images-a family day at the beach, a newborn in the delivery room."--"Newsweek"
"A revelation."--"Boston Sunday Globe
Annie Leibovitz s photographic memoir of the past fifteen years in her life captures powerful, intimate moments. . . . She juxtaposes the most personal against the full-color flash of celebrities and the grandeur of the natural landscape against the bloody horror of war. A Photographer s Life is a testament to a life lived large and in full embrace. More magazine
Her fans may be astonished both by the range of the work and the unstudied, everyday quality of some of the images a family day at the beach, a newborn in the delivery room. Newsweek
A revelation. Boston Sunday Globe
Startling. Washington Post
About the Author
Annie Leibovitz was born on October 2, 1949, in Waterbury, Connecticut. While studying painting at the San Francisco Art Institute she took night classes in photography, and in 1970 she began doing work for Rolling Stone magazine. She became Rolling Stone s chief photographer in 1973. By the time she left the magazine, ten years later, she had shot 142 covers. She joined the staff of Vanity Fair in 1983 and in 1998 also began working for Vogue.
In addition to her magazine editorial work, Leibovitz has created influential advertising campaigns for American Express, the Gap, and the Milk Board. She has worked with many arts organizations, including American Ballet Theatre, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Mark Morris Dance Group, and with Mikhail Baryshnikov. Her books include Annie Leibovitz: Photographs, Photographs: Annie Leibovitz, 1970-1990, Olympic Portraits, Women, and Annie Leibovitz: American Music. Exhibitions of her work have appeared at museums and galleries all over the world, including the National Portrait Gallery and the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C.; the International Center of Photography in New York; the Brooklyn Museum; the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam; the Centre National de la Photographie in Paris; and the National Portrait Gallery in London. Leibovitz has been designated a Living Legend by the Library of Congress and is the recipient of many other honors, including the Barnard College Medal of Distinction and the Infinity Award in Applied Photography from the International Center of Photography. She was decorated a Commandeur in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. She lives in New York with her three children, Sarah, Susan, and Samuelle."
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I love the juxtaposition of her professional 'studio' work with her family pictures giving an insight into the mind of a multi-dimensional personality.
Any photographer can take heart from the fact that even the simplest of snapshots can be works of art and this book is an inspiration to go out and take photos.
It's interesting when the photographer, the recorder, is pretty much as famous as the person whose image she captures- the effect somehow shows in these pictures. There are some fascinating photos:
* an impossibly young looking Bill Clinton poses in the oval office
* Demi Moore's famous pregnant photo
* Julianne Moore and Todd Haynes stare at us from behind a car windscreen and remind me of an Edward Hopper painting
* George W Bush and his senior team: Colin Powell, Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice et al look very fit and at ease with the world
* Willie Nelson could be an American Indian chief in a portrait where he looks as if he has been carved out of wood
* Great sports pictures.... not so impressive, except in size, are the landscapes
And then the family snaps - there is the odd formal portrait but mostly she photographs the personal: her mother's 80th birthday, her lover Susan Sontag looking glamorous in Venice, then looking very ill, then being loaded into an air ambulance and then laid out for her funeral, Liebovitz's new born daughter, her visibly aging parents. Her mother has a habit of raising her leg in the air, stretching it out like a dancer - my family had a 'physical exuberance' says Liebovitz. They are touching pictures.
She's made the personal public here and the personal photos are juxtaposed against the glossy touched up images and make them seem both more skilful and more superficial.
In the exhibition we have access to a fascinating room where we can see the images pinned to a board - revealing the work in progress of which ones would be included. Sontag's notes on The Volcano Lover are there too - more work in progress.
Seeing this body of work has raised her up a couple of notches in my estimation of her as a photographer - if you get a chance go and see it and if you can't - enjoy the book.