b. 1949, USA

Annie Leibovitz Biography

Over her 50-year career, Annie Leibovitz has developed a reputation as one of the world's best portrait photographers, gaining particular acclaim for her lavish yet intimate images of celebrities.

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Early Life

Leibovitz was born Anna-Lou Leibovitz in Waterbury, Connecticut. She began to take photographs while living in the Philippines, where her father was stationed during the Vietnam War. It was at this time that Leibovitz enrolled at the San Francisco Art institute to study painting with the intention of becoming an art teacher. Later, she changed her major to photography. She was inspired by the documentary photography of Robert Frank and Henri Cartier-Bresson, while also admiring the work of fashion photographers such as Richard Avedon and Irving Penn.

In 1970, Leibovitz began her career working for Rolling Stone, becoming the first woman to be named chief photographer. Her photography shaped the distinctive visual style of the magazine.

In 1983, Leibovitz went on to work as a photographer for Vanity Fair, where she developed a more colourful and dramatic style of photography. In 1998, Leibovitz was approached by Anna Wintour and began to work for Vogue magazine. She still makes regular contributions to both Vanity Fair and Vogue.

Annie Leibovitz Artworks

Annie Leibovitz is best known for her intimate celebrity portraits.

Annie Leibovitz Photography

Beginning her work in a more muted tone, Leibovitz's photos have evolved to become more colourful and dramatic. She uses the camera to capture opulent colour, careful staging, and dramatic natural and artificial light. This shift in her work can be seen in the contrast between the harmonious tones of Meryl Streep, New York City (1981) and the official portrait of the Obama family shot in 2009, which is more meticulously staged and lit.

Many of Leibovitz's portraits hint at elements of story or make tongue-in-cheek historical references. For example, her photographs of Angelina Jolie for the January 2007 and November 2015 issues of Vogue make references to classical sculpture and mythology. Leibovitz considers herself an avid historical researcher and intentionally imbues her work not only with pop-cultural significance, but also with layers of historical and narrative meaning.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono

The portrait of John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, taken just hours before Lennon was fatally shot outside of his New York residence on December 8 1980, is one of Leibovitz's most famous photographs. The portrait is a bird's eye polaroid of a naked Lennon curled around a fully clothed Ono. The photograph embodies the typical intimacy of Leibovitz's celebrity portraiture, capturing a vulnerable and private moment between Lennon and Ono. In the words of Lennon, the photo 'captured our relationship exactly.' The image became what is often considered the most iconic Rolling Stone cover.

More Demi Moore

Leibovitz has been no stranger to controversy. Her 1991 photograph More Demi Moore for the cover of Vanity Fair sparked widespread debate about the depiction of pregnancy and nudity.

The image shows Demi Moore, pregnant and naked except for jewellery, looking towards the camera lens. It is typical of Leibovitz's tender approach to her subjects. Although the photo was controversial at the time, it set the trend for celebrity pregnancy photoshoots to follow.

Awards and Accolades

Over her career, Leibovitz has been recognised by many awards. These include the American Society of Magazine Photographers' Photographer of the Year in 1983, and the International Center of Photography's Lifetime Achievement Award, and the American Society of Magazine Editors' Creative Excellence Award in 2009. She received the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art Award for Distinguished Women in the Arts in 2012, and was the recipient of the first San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Contemporary Vision Award in 2015. Leibovitz has been named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress.

Exhibitions

Exhibitions of Annie Leibovitz' work have been held around the globe, including at the International Center of Photography in New York, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, and the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow.

In 1991, Leibovitz was the first woman to have a feature exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.. Leibovitz exhibited Annie Leibovitz: Women at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. in 1999 to accompany a publication by her partner, scholar and writer, Susan Sontag.

In 2006, the Brooklyn Museum showed a major retrospective of her work entitled Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer's Life, 1990—2005, which went on to tour several international locations including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., the San Diego Museum of Art, and the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Instagram

Annie Leibovitz's Instagram can be found here.

Vida Quivooy | Ocula | 2021


Annie Leibovitz Featured Artworks

Malcolm McLaren and Christopher Fletcher, Point Dume, California by Annie Leibovitz contemporary artwork photography
Annie LeibovitzMalcolm McLaren and Christopher Fletcher, Point Dume, California, 1985Archival pigment print
30.5 x 30.5 inches
Sundaram Tagore Gallery Contact Gallery
Steve Martin, Beverly Hills, California by Annie Leibovitz contemporary artwork photography
Annie LeibovitzSteve Martin, Beverly Hills, California, 1981Archival pigment print
40 x 40 inches
Sundaram Tagore Gallery Contact Gallery

Annie Leibovitz Current Exhibitions

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Annie Leibovitz Represented By

Hauser & Wirth contemporary art gallery in Hong Kong Hauser & Wirth Gstaad, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Menorca, Monte Carlo, New York, Somerset, Southampton, St. Moritz, Zurich

Annie Leibovitz In Related Press

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10 Hong Kong Art Exhibitions To See In November 2019 Related Press 10 Hong Kong Art Exhibitions To See In November 2019 5 November 2019, Hong Kong Tatler

Sinuous sculptures crafted from steel, post-WWII abstract paintings and celebrity portraits by Annie Leibovitz are just a few of the highlights of this month's exhibitions

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Annie Leibovitz on the shots that made her Related Press Annie Leibovitz on the shots that made her 31 March 2019, The Guardian

Annie Leibovitz is standing by a photograph she took of Pont Neuf in Paris. It's a swirling panoramic shot of the famous bridge, taken when she was a student and would roam the city's streets camera i

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Champagne feminism at the Saatchi Gallery and celebrity women in Wapping Related Press Champagne feminism at the Saatchi Gallery and celebrity women in Wapping 30 January 2016, Apollo Magazine

There are currently two exhibitions in London, which highlight gender-disparities in the art world. The Saatchi Gallery begins 2016 with its first all-female exhibition, ‘Champagne Life’; Far from the glamour of Chelsea, in Wapping’s abandoned Hydraulic Power Station, a small display of photographs by Annie Leibovitz opens. These...

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'The world we live in: through the lens of contemporary photography' presented by Sundaram Tagore Gallery and Collective 88 in partnership with Ayala Museum  Related Press 'The world we live in: through the lens of contemporary photography' presented by Sundaram Tagore Gallery and Collective 88 in partnership with Ayala Museum

Sundaram Tagore Gallery and Collective 88, in partnership with Ayala Museum, present 'The World We Live In: Through the Lens of Contemporary Photography', a specially curated exhibition that portrays how contemporary photographers document and interpret the world around us, creating images that are both aesthetically thrilling and deeply...

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Click Contact Gallery under any Featured Artwork by Annie Leibovitz to receive information on price and availability.