After some devastating financial issues rocked the photographer, Annie Leibovitz took a look around. Around her life, the people that are surrounding her and around the country. The result is Pilgrimage and it is now showing at the Smithsonian.
Ooh, and you won’t find any celebrity snapshots here…and considering the photoshop monstrosities that resulted of late, it’s refreshing to see Leib’s still got it.
Looks like soul searching has some benefits, including getting back to your creative roots and rediscovering your natural talents. It certainly seems like this is the case for Leibovitz, whose work I have mentioned before as having taken a turn for the photoshop. After some personal devastation in various degrees, Leibovitz instead went outside to the world around her, not only as a photographer but as a spectator as well. Really allowing herself to absorb the places she was visiting and let that experience direct her latest collection, Pilgrimage, now at the Smithsonian.
The collection shows many national spots that we all have seen in a new light, and many places and spaces that we have never been privvy to. A great example is that of Freud’s couch, and Emily Dickinson’s night gown. Both images uncharacteristic of Leibovitz’s style and proves a departure from her catalog – that is to say, refreshing. This is also Leibovitz’s first all-digital show which again demonstrates the artist’s branching out and experimenting with new subjects and materials.
This is a beautiful and haunting image from Virginia Wolfe’s bedroom.
And a bizarre picture of Freud’s couch. Why does it look like a pile of bodies hidden under the old oriental carpet?
Overall, the show is a departure and presents an exciting time for Leibovitz fans, and photography fans as a whole. Demonstrating you can pick up everything you learned and completely turn your career on it’s head is a dangerously exciting idea. One I think all artists should take to heart.