Monday, October 02, 2006

Annie Leibovitz: Through Her Lens

Newsweek, Oct. 1, 2006, reports that America's most famous celebrity photographer, Annie Leibovitz, has published a new book, A Photographer's Life: 1990 - 2005, very different from her previous publications.

In this new collection of photographs, she is showing the public small parts of her personal life. Included in the book are images of her long time friend/companion, writer and critic Susan Sontag (On Photography) during her last days in her battle with cancer. Also included are photographs of her life as a single mother with daughter Sarah (2001) and twins (2005). The twins, born to a surrogate mother, were named Susan (after Sontag) and Samuelle (after her father).

What made her decide to "go public"? Sontag died in Dec. 2004, and her father six weeks later. Leibovitz wanted to make a memorial to both, and the book is the result. "I've been through everything mentally and emotionally," Leibovitz says, "and I'm very comfortable with them (the photographs). This book is me."

The personal images are mixed in with those of celebrities. I am interested to see the juxtaposition of intimacy vs. public, and see a side of Leibovitz that has previously been hidden behind the camera.


Blogger Professor Melis said...

I'm intrigued by the title: the idea of seeing "through the lens" of a celebrity photographer and finding that photographer looking back. It seems like an (unintentional?) commentary on what it means to be a celebrity. Wherever you go, there you are. Is this kind of work unique to this era or is it no different than a self-portrait by Durer?

8:42 PM  

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