Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Striking photos including a pouting Nicole Kidman, Whoopi Goldberg in a bath and a bikini clad Ellen DeGeneres all on show in £1,750 Annie Leibovitz book

Photographer has produced 'sumo-sized' book of her famous work
Collection includes arresting images of actors, musicians and politicians
Aim is for it to be displayed rather than read and comes with its own stand

Collector's item on sale for £1,750
Striking portrait: This image of Ellen DeGeneres features in Annie Leibovitz's new book
Prolific career: Actress Nicole Kidman is one of many Oscar-winners who have been in front of Leibovitz's lens. She's pictured here with director Baz Luhrmann
Flash back: The photographer took this picture of actor Steve Martin for a Rolling Stone cover shoot in the Eighties
The tome will be a 'sumo-sized' collector's edition produced in collaboration with Taschen.

But you'll need to be a Leibovitz super fan with deep pockets in order to afford it as the hard cover book has a price tag of £1,750, which includes a tripod-style stand to place it on.

Leibovitz, 64, said the stand is important since this is a book to display rather than read.

She explained in a interview on Taschen's website: 'It’s not really a book. It sits on a stand. You can find a photograph that you care about and leave the book open to that and sort of dwell on it. There was a lot of discussion with Frank Goerhardt, the Head of Production, about paper. 
Splashing around: This image of Whoopi Goldberg illustrates Leibovitz's point that her pictures involve an element of performance
Olympian: She once captured Carl Lewis still looking athletic in high heels
Life through a lens: Cate Blanchett struck a seductive pose in 2004
'He would say, oh, when it sits there, you don't get the glare with this or that paper. I didn't realise at first why that was important.' 
She added: 'It's hard to design a book that is not really a book. Everyone who worked on this built it as a book while trying to understand it as an installation. 
'I'm not sure we succeeded completely, but we tried. This is not a book that you're going to put in your lap. You're going to look at it from a distance. One picture at a time.'
The large display book comes with an accompanying supplement book explaining the artistic portraits.
They include a stylised shot of Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman ready for her close-up with director Baz Luhrmann, musician David Byrne in a jacket made from leaves in a Magritte-inspired snap and actor Steve Martin covered in paint for a Rolling Stone magazine cover.

Artistic: David Byrne in a Magritte-inspired shot, left, and Patti Smith surrounded by flames
There's also a striking images of comedienne Ellen DeGeneres with a white made-up face in a bikini and Whoopi Goldberg part-submerged in a bath tub.

The photographer admitted that over the years, her favourite subjects have been comedians because of the element of performance involved in her shoots.

She said: 'Having your photograph taken involves a performance, portraits particularly. The photographer provides the subjects with a stage - but then they have to project... My background as a photographer is as an observer. I'm a terrible director.

Collector's item: The book spans Leibovitz's 40-year career and is designed to be displayed on a specially-made stand included in the hefty price