All About Annie
Famed photographer brings her master set to the capital city
By (614) MagazinePublished October 1, 2012
Iconic. Personal. Influential. Honest. Confident.
A lot of adjectives can be used to describe Annie Leibovitz’s work. There is no mistaking one of her photographs. More than likely, the subject is a superstar of culture or entertainment, and the image reveals a quiet, personal moment that can only be derived from trust, not a stolen millisecond in a lucky click of a camera shutter. Her influence is far-reaching and justified.
Leibovitz has set a standard that may never be equaled, only learned from. A career that started in the ’70s at Rolling Stone and has carried on for four decades, spanning the gamut of mainstream publications, cannot be taken as anything less than vital and important.
Columbus also has some gifted photographers, as well. In honor of Leibovitz’ master set being displayed through December 30th at the Wexner Center, a few were asked to share their thoughts on Annie and her work.
– Chris Casella
For any photographer of any genre, specialty, or interest, Annie Leibovitz represents the total life and art experience.
As a young, aspiring photojournalist in 1980, I began following Annie’s early ’70s work in Rolling Stone magazine. Her intimate images of musicians – performing, hanging out backstage, being rock stars – gave insight and inspiration to this Columbus kid who made photos of local band Rosie, later selling prints to classmates to earn money for a trip to San Francisco.
Annie’s work evolved from gritty, Leica-captured monochromatic masterpieces to the highly choreographed, thoughtful storytelling she is known for today.
Annie has provided us with a contemporary guide for artistic growth and exploration. I cannot wait to see the exhibition of work that has galvanized so many photography careers, mine included.
- Michael Barber
Annie Leibovitz and rock ‘n’ roll go hand-in-hand. Her portraits of the Rolling Stones, Iggy Pop, The White Stripes, and the portrait of John Lennon with Yoko Ono (shot the day he died) along with a multitude of others are iconic images. No other photographer has been more of an inspiration to myself than Leibovitz – being a female photographer in the music scene. “When I say I want to photograph someone, what it really means is that I’d like to know them.” Columbus is lucky to get to know them as well during Leibovitz's exhibition of her master set, overseeing her career from the ’70s to the present.
- Rachael Barbash
I started out in painting and drawing and I have always been attracted to master manipulators of light and shadow like Rembrandt. In my photographic work today, I’ve found myself looking to photographers such as Annie Leibovitz to take inspiration in the way their lighting almost makes their subjects look painterly.
She’s extending the boundaries of photography by mixing modern culture with that rich luxurious lighting that can give a very colorful and classical feel. It’s really exciting work and it’s no surprise that the Wexner Center will add her to a long line of world-renowned artists that have been hosted in their facility.
- Jessica Miller
Annie’s work is iconic in all aspects. Her documentary and portrait photos for Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair are nothing short of brilliant. Being in the mix with some of the largest magazines, documenting lifestyle and fashion, is something the world of photographers aspires to. Through her giant ups and extreme downs, she continues to be an amazing photographer ... that’s true passion.
- Adam Lowe
Annie Leibovitz is most certainly one of the world’s pre-eminent portraitists today. Her body of work, from her days with Rolling Stone through her time at Vanity Fair continuing work up through the current era, her work is an example of what can be done when a portrait subject gives a photographer their complete trust. It is an outstanding opportunity to have this exhibit here, and speaks highly to the stature of the Wexner Center that we have this exhibit here in Columbus.
- Greg Bartram
Annie Leibovitz is one of the most prolific photographers of the past 40 years and is a tremendous participant in shaping how we understand the new era of celebrity and popular culture. Having the opportunity to see so many of her images first hand at the Wexner Center provides a huge opportunity for young artists throughout the region to gain insight and inspiration. Leibovitz is a constant reminder to all photographers of the importance of trusting your point of view and keeping a vigilant eye on the world. Her images will be a significant witness to the world even when she is gone – isn’t that what all artists hope for?
- Duncan J. Snyder
Professor, Chair of Photography, CCAD
The Wexner Center is the first institution to have the opportunity to exhibit Leibovitz’ Master Set as a whole – 156 images in total. The exhibition is $8 for the general public, $6 for senior citizens (65 and older), and Ohio State faculty and staff (with BUCK ID), and free for Wexner Center members.