American photographer Annie Leibovitz has been a prolific artist since the 1970s, where she first came into public consciousness with her iconic photography for Rolling Stone magazine. Her use of bold colours and unposed subjects have made her one of our generation’s best portrait photographers – best exampled by her most famous photo, that of John Lennon and Yoko Ono taken just days before his death. She has photographed everyone from the Queen of England to victims of domestic abuse to Hillary Clinton to countless actors, artists, musicians and political figures. These are a selection of some of my favorites of her photographs.
I love this high contrast, holiday shaded shoot of Natalia Vodianova for Vogue Russia. Natalia & Roversi do great work together, this shoot is another in a collection of beautiful work.
David Bellemere presents strong feminine sexuality in red and black, hemlines blow back by the wind to reveal a flash of flesh giving this editorial a beautiful sense of captured movement and sensuality.
Tilda Swinton mingles with the Max Ernsts at the Houston home and museum of legendary patrons Dominique and John de Menil.
In 1984, Dominique de Menil staged an enormous exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris, offering art lovers, for the first time, an in-depth look at the vast collection she and her husband, John, had assembled. The more than 600 works on view ranged from a paleolithic bone carving dating from 22,000–15,000 BC to 20th-century masterpieces by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, and Georges Braque. But when it came time to choose an image to represent the show on the posters that would be plastered around the city, Dominique passed over the blue-chip names and dramatically ancient artifacts in favor of a piece by the virtually unknown 19th-century artist Joseph Sacco. Called Oeil de Jeune Femme, it’s a tiny painting of an eye, framed by a brass oval and dark crimson velvet, and placed in a rough leather box. A surreal object made decades before Surrealism, it elegantly summed up, for de Menil, the idea of perception—on the part of the artist, the collector, and the audience.
It is fitting, then, that precisely 30 years after the Grand Palais show, the miniature work is sitting in the gloved hand of the actress Tilda Swinton, a woman who has made a career out of playing with perception: transcending time and gender in Sally Potter’s 1992 film Orlando, passing as an octogenarian dowager in Wes Anderson’s 2014 The Grand Budapest Hotel, and becoming a buck-toothed villain in last year’s sci-fi thriller Snowpiercer. Today, Swinton has come to the Menil Collection, the museum Dominique de Menil founded in Houston, to create a portfolio for W with the photographer Tim Walker.
One of my favourite themes in editorials is when famous works of art are recreated as fashion. This shoot Julianne Moore did with Peter Lindbergh in 2008 is one of the best. In it she poses in couture fashions and recreates works by artists like the one pictured above where she manifests as one of Edgar Degas’ dancers in Armani Privé, as well as shots by artists ranging from 19th century portrait artist John Singer Sargent to provocateur Richard Prince. Julianne’s milk-pale dappled skin, gorgeous bone structure, and transformative talent lends itself perfectly to this awe-inspiring shoot. Below are the shots of Julianne alongside the work recreated for the shot.