Annie Leibovitz opts for natural and effortless form in paintings of Serena Williams, Yoko Ono, Amy Schumer and others
The annual calendar produced by Pirelli tyres which traditionally centres on the artfully lit nude the organizations of girl supermodels has been unveiled, presenting a dramatic alter in subject matter and aesthetic.
Gone are the gym-toned legs and heaving breasts; in their place for the 2016 docket, shot by Annie Leibovitz, are simple paintings of women of various sizes, ages and ethnicities chosen for their professional, social, cultural, boasting and aesthetic accomplishment.
Subjects include Yoko Ono, wearing a top hat, tuxedo jacket and fishnet tights; and Patti Smith, modelling jeans, boots and a snarl. The cultural commentator Fran Lebowitz makes an unlikely Miss May, smoking a cigarette in a servicemen oversized pinstriped case. The blogger Tavi Gevinson, Chinese actor Yao Chen, creator Shirin Neshat, investment banker Mellody Hobson, the manager of the movie Selma, Ava DuVernay, and Agnes Gund, an skill collector, also appear.
The tennis star Serena Williams are members of just two scantily clad virtuosoes, posing in a balletic leap with her muscular, naked back to the camera. Decembers subject, the comedian Amy Schumer, sips from a lipstick-stained takeaway coffee cup in her underwear, with soft reels of flesh visible on her stomach.
At the launch of the calendar on Monday, Leibovitz explained that none of these photographs had been designed with the male gape in knowledge. Williamss photo was not a nude but a mas study, she said, while Schumers was a comic egotism: The project was that she was the only one who had not got the memo about wearing clothes.
To the uninitiated, the Pirelli calendar might sound like a tatty report destined for auto-mechanics to stare at in a garage. But during its 50 -odd years of production, Pirelli has worked hard to cultivate a sense of artiness and exclusivity around the personas. In its hard copy form the docket is only sent out to a select and secret few, although the personas flow widely on the internet.
They are given a layer of respectability, and fashion industry approving, thanks to the inclusion of “the worlds” top supermodels and performers Kate Moss, Gisele Bundchen and Julianne Moore to refer a few cases who are now photographed by illustrious refers including Herb Ritts, Richard Avedon and Helmut Newton.
Mondays slick launch event, in the grand ballroom of the Grosvenor House on Park Lane, London, marked the seriousness with which Pirelli takes the docket as a marketing utilization. The worlds media collected for the unveiling of the personas, listening as Clare Balding interviewed Leibovitz and three of the dockets subjects Gevinson, Gund and Chen on theatre, while the proceedings were carried via headsets into four languages.
The wives expressed warmly of the dockets symbolism, with Leibovitz describing it as representative of a shift in the way wives are viewed. The tyre manufacturers chief executive, Marco Tronchetti Provera, said the company had been looking to make a leaving from the usual format of its docket this year, one that seemed extremely timely.
Women who have done something outstanding in their lives, from all corners of the world. This represents what Pirelli thinks is beautiful, said Tronchetti Provera.
Leibovitz added that the personas were designed to look as natural and effortless as possible, with little pretence to the pictures. Though shooting in flattering black and white, they had been subject to just a little cleaning up of the personas rather than the usual heavy post-production labour, she said.
Though Leibovitz, who also photographed a docket of nudes for Pirelli in 2000, declined to describe the docket as a feminist watershed moment for the brand, she said: Pirelli has always held free rein to the photographer, this is why it really about pick of photographer. I recall the company has wanted to alter for a few years and my mandatory is because they wanted to see some change.
During a behind-the-scenes movie were presented at the launch, the photographers almost-namesake Lebowitz offered a somewhat different analysis: Perhaps robed wives are going to have a moment.
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