For decades, I had been mispronouncing the last name of photographer Annie Leibovitz. I can even tell you when I figured it out, in December 2011, watching JEOPARDY! of course. One of the contestants gave the response, “Who is Annie Leibowitz?” with a W rather than a V. It is a common mistake, Alex Trebek explained.
Still, I should have figured it out. I had been looking at her work since the 1970s, when she was first staff photographer at Rolling Stone before she became chief photographer in 1973 at the age of 23. She had a “look”, maybe her choice of lighting, that seemed distinctive to me.
She took lots of pictures of the Rolling Stones when they were on tour. Bette Midler in a bed of roses after she starred in the 1979 film The Rose was iconic. Her most famous magazine cover may have been taken on December 8, 1980, of a nude John Lennon lying next to his clothed wife Yoko Ono, taken hours before his murder.
In 1983, Annie Leibovitz she moved to Vanity Fair. Her most noted photo at that magazine was likely a 1991 cover shot showing this actress Demi Moore nude, holding her pregnant belly. In 2003, the magazine noted that her name had become synonymous with the magazine’s “visual brilliance.” In those twenty years, she shot “104 covers and countless portraits for the magazine. In this 24-page portfolio…, V.F. honors the art of America’s most famous photographer.”
Among her other photographs is the one on Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” album showing the Boss’ rear end. For Vogue’s millennium special issue, she grouped 13 historic supermodels to shoot the gatefold cover.
In 1991 she had her first museum exhibition at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, a rare honor for a living photographer.
In 2014 Annie Leibovitz discussed Nine Assignments that Shaped Her Career. “Leibovitz said some of her most important work was a series of photos she took of her apparently abusive partner, essayist Susan Sontag. She said Sontag had extremely high expectations for the photos, which Leibovitz found frustrating. After Sontag died of Myelodysplastic syndrome in 2004, Leibovitz looked back at photos and said she was proud.”
Civil War photography changed war from something remote to something with visceral impact.
Photography of the Civil War has fascinated me for many years. Wikipedia says: “The American Civil War was the fifth war in history to be photographed [without specifying the first four], and was the most widely covered conflict of the 19th century.” The most famous photographer of the conflict was Mathew Brady, but there were several other men behind the camera.
From the Metropolitan Museum of Art: President Abraham Lincoln “called up 75,000 militiamen to put down an insurrection of Southern states,” in what proved to be a painfully optimistic assessment of the length of the struggle. “
“Brady secured permission from Lincoln to follow the troops in what was expected to be a short and glorious war.” Ultimately, Brady instead financed a corps of field photographers who, together with those employed by the Union military command and by Alexander Gardner, made the first extended photographic coverage of a war.
“The terrible contest proceeded erratically; just as the soldiers learned to fight this war in the field, so the photographers improvised their reports. Because the battlefields were too chaotic and dangerous for the painstaking wet-plate procedures to be carried out, photographers could depict only strategic sites camp scenes, preparations for or retreat from action, and, on rare occasions, the grisly aftermath of battle.”
This spring, the local Hannaford supermarket had a contest to determine the best pet photos in a variety of categories. The Daughter decided to submit a couple of our felines, taken on The Wife’s iPad, then emailed to me so that I could print them out.
Frankly, I have no idea how many other participants, if any, there were, but the Daughter won with the picture of Stormy, shown above. She received various pet treats, food, cat litter and the like.
BTW, Stormy, who just turned two, has become much more affectionate to me, sitting on my lap – only when she wants to, because she IS a cat, after all – and rubbing her head on my feet.
I’ll admit I prefer this photo, if only because it’s SO goofy, rather like Midnight, who’s about a half a year older than Stormy. He has always been affectionate to me, but, for a time, it got to be too much.
Quite often, at 4 a.m., he’d come into our bedroom and start licking my arms, and chewing on the hair on the top of my head and even on my mustache. I would get up and usually write. Then I had to get him down from the file cabinet next to the office desk, lest he jump down on the laptop and accidentally screw up some settings; he’s done it before.
But then he started his routine at 3 a.m., and I can’t function on that little sleep. So I would get up, put him in the basement and go back to bed. This seems to have (mostly) broken him of this annoying habit.
For a time, we thought Midnight was becoming too aggressive towards some strangers – he utterly freaked out at the vet’s office – and wondered how we could even go on vacation for more than a day or two.
We got a new child watcher (FKA babysitter) named Maxine and he was very affectionate towards her. Now, SHE can come in, feed the cats, change the litter box, and give them some love.
James Taylor interview by Howard Stern on May 12, in anticipation of Taylor’s new album release on June 16th, listen to HERE or HERE. A friend said, “it was Howard at his best. James forthright, thoughtful and plain honest.”
I suppose I should complain, but it’s so weird. Twice now in the past month, someone has taken a blogpost I’ve written and put it on their Facebook page. The person has kept a citation to my original post, which I imagine could be stripped as it gets passed along. But I’m so fascinated someone would even bother to do so that I haven’t commented – yet.
GOOGLE ALERT (not me)
Roger Green, Art Green’s grandfather, “was born and bred in Rangitikei, and ran the family farm, Mangahoe Land Company, during the 1960s until they put a manager on it in 1967.” (Arthur Green is in New Zealand’s version of The Bachelor.)
“Bitching about what people post on social networks is rather like going to each individual table in your high school cafeteria and demanding that everyone at each table only discuss the topics you want to hear discussed.”
Jaquandor: “Bitching about what people post on social networks is rather like going to each individual table in your high school cafeteria and demanding that everyone at each table only discuss the topics you want to hear discussed.” I agree with that. He also mentioned SamuraiFrog’s situation, linked therein.
Speaking of SF: 50 Shades of Smartass, Chapter 4 and Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 and Chapter 7, which you should check out, even if you don’t read the others, because now the truly awful stuff is being eviscerated. Or wait until Chapter 8, when the sex stuff starts. Would someone who liked this book please write me and tell me why?
Amy Biancolli has a new blog. She’s a writer for the local newspaper I’ve met once or twice. As she noted in her first post, ” In 2011, my beloved, brilliant husband, Chris, committed suicide. This left me and our three unbelievably spirited, beautiful children with a task ahead of us: to live.” So she’s FSO, Figuring Stuff Out, such as Things. Except she doesn’t say “stuff.”
Of all the noteworthy people who died this month – Ray Price, Eleanor Parker, Peter O’Toole, Joan Fontaine, Tom Laughlin – the only obit I link to is Harold Camping? OK, here’s one for Price, and for O’Toole.
Food Fight Muppet episode featuring Gordon Ramsey.