Thursday, December 8, 2011


Hello. It's been one and a half months since the last post. I know, this awkward silence of my blog is getting old now... But that's better than a three-month pause, isn't it? And I guess it means I have a life, which is good, I have to say.

ANYWAYS, I'm here to write, not to be making up excuses and apologies to my own self so here we go:

In October, about one and a half months ago, my best friend Jenny and I decided we had to go see the Annie Leibovitz exhibit in Moscow, before Jenny went off to London for a whole month. Of course, as someone interested in art and photography I had already knew who Annie Leibovitz was. I've never been a big fan of her work, because I was familiar with mostly her new work and never cared enough (as embarrassing as that is to admit) to dig deeper and look at what she did before the, in all honesty, horrendous Disney series and all the widely known studio celebrity portraits. I have to say though, I have always respected her for being such a prominent figure in photography, considering how most photographers are male. But, as I have already said, I never really got why she received so much praise.

The exhibition changed everything. I don't exactly remember what it started with, but since I'm quite sure that the exhibition was basically what Leibovitz's book A Photographers life: 1990-2005 is, so it's safe to say that it opened with photographs of the Leibovitz family. As I walked in, I immediately understood that there was something special about all these images, but I didn't quite grasp what exactly it was.

The show consisted Annie's commercial work, which was intricately intertwined with her personal stuff. Amongst her personal photographs, there were numerous images of Susan Sontag, American writer and the woman Leibovitz called her lover. This set of personal photos is probably responsible for this special connection that I developed during the 40 or so minutes I spent looking at the show. It is really hard to describe the state these pictures got me into, there's just so much behind them: they show off the vulnerable side of Annie Leibovitz, yet at the same time, they are proof of the strength that this woman has within herself; these photos are so natural, so representative of what life actually is.

But it weren't just the pictures of Sontag and the Leibovitz family that made the whole thing so alive. Leibovitz's commercial work of that time is absolutely breathtaking. Even though she must have been paid an impressive amount of money for most of these pictures, they still feel so personal, it's like having an intimate moment with whoever is photographed, it's electrifying, really. The way Leibovitz manages to capture the essence of a person or relationship is mind-blowing.

This has helped me reevaluate my understanding of what photography is and it is so much more than JUST and art form or JUST a way of recording certain events. It's really hard for me to put it into words, it's like explaining what God is, I'll have to think some more about it, so for now I'll just post some pictures:

Sarajevo, 1993, right after a teenage boy was shot in the back.

Kate Moss and Johnny Depp, 1994

Cindy Crawford

Susan Sontag, the 90's

Jack and Meg White, 2003

John Lennon and Yoko Ono, 1980, five hours before John's death.


Susan, the end, 2005, I can't even imagine how difficult it must have been for Annie to take this picture.

You have to see them irl though, this doesn't do it for me.

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