A Photographer's Life
By Annie Leibovitz (Photographer)
(Random House, Hardcover, 9780375505096, 472pp.)
Publication Date: October 3, 2006
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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“I don’t have two lives,” Annie Leibovitz writes in the Introduction to this collection of her work from 1990—2005. “This is one life, and the personal pictures and the assignment work are all part of it.” Portraits of well-known figures–Johnny Cash, Nicole Kidman, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Keith Richards, Michael Jordan, Joan Didion, R2-D2, Patti Smith, Nelson Mandela, Jack Nicholson, William Burroughs, George W. Bush with members of his Cabinet–appear alongside pictures of Leibovitz’s family and friends, reportage from the siege of Sarajevo in the early Nineties, and landscapes made even more indelible through Leibovitz’s discerning eye. The images form a narrative rich in contrasts and continuities: The photographer has a long relationship that ends with illness and death. She chronicles the celebrations and heartbreaks of her large and robust family. She has children of her own. All the while she is working, and the public work resonates with the themes of her life.
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.
“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