Posts Tagged: annie lennox

Lady Inspiration: Annie Leibovitz

“When I say I want to photograph someone, what it really means is that I’d like to know them. Anyone I know I photograph.”-Annie Leibovitz

I’ve had some great experiences at the Wexner Center. There was the Andy Warhol exhibit I visited with my dad and brothers, which featured a film called Blow Job and, at one point, involved Chase standing in front of a screen printed painting of dollar bills and angrily saying, “Why is this art?” Then there was the time H. and I took Chase to see Bill Callahan, an artist I had no familiarity with, in a artsily-lit room that was definitely one of the weirdest concert venues I’ve ever been in (and I’ve seen a concert in a renovated strip club). In general, the Wexner hosts some of the coolest cultural events in Columbus, and I was especially stoked to see their current Annie Leibovitz exhibit.

The bulk of the exhibit is made up of the Master Set, 156 images chosen by Leibovitz herself that make up “definitive edition” of her work. These were mostly her celebrity photos, and also some pictures of her family. A lot of them were extremely recognizable, such as this John Lennon and Yoko Ono photo that I actually didn’t even know was by Annie Leibovitz!

Some of them were glitzy and glamorous, but in plenty of them the subject was just hanging out. And then there was this truly amazing, wacky photo of Whoopi Goldberg, which I’m in love with.

“A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people.”-Annie Leibovitz

Those photos were great, but probably my favorite part of the exhibit was Pilgrimage project, which (according to the Wexner Center) is “a series of photographs of interiors, landscapes, and talismanic objects attached to historical figures—Abraham Lincoln, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emily Dickinson, Georgia O’Keeffe, Annie Oakley, and Elvis Presley, among others.” What they fail to mention is that there were photos of LOUISA MAY ALCOTT’S HOUSE. And dolls. Even aside from Louisa May, this section of the exhibit was fantastic. I don’t know much about photography, or art at all, really. But I truly found these photographs inspiring, in the most basic sense of the word. I think it takes a lot to show a unique view of places a lot of people have seen, like Monticello, but that’s why Annie Leibovitz is probably the most famous living photographer in America. These photos made me realize there’s so, so much of this great big country that I haven’t seen.

If you’re near Columbus, I hope you can make it to the Wexner Center to check out this show. The Wex is the first place to exhibit the whole Master Set! It runs through December 30th, so you still have plenty of time. Important note: the first Sunday of the month is free. Also, if this entices you at all, at one point my boyfriend said the sentence, “I don’t know what to look at…this photo of R2-D2 or this photo of Scarlett Johannssen.” Something for everyone, you guys.

Image of Annie Leibovitz via Herron School of Art

The First 3 CDs I Bought

1. Alice Cooper, Greatest Hits

In third grade, The Muppet Show was big in my life. Specifically the episode with Alice Cooper, which was on VHS with the Vincent Price episode. We had the tape checked out so often, we practically owned it. I was impressed with Alice Cooper’s theatricality, his makeup, and the song “School’s Out.” At 8, I identified with the sentiment. I distinctly remember my grandmother trying to discourage me from buying this by telling me that Alice Cooper was “weird,” but whatever! It was my CD Jungle gift card, I was gonna do what I wanted!

2. Amy Grant, House of Love

Basically the same thing as Alice Cooper. Amy Grant’s popularity peaked right around the time I was in third grade, so I think it was the ubiquity of her music as well as my love of a finely crafted pop song that led me to buy this. House of Love was such a jam!

Listening to this now, okay, it is really 90’s. But, you know, in third grade this was a comforting song for me. I was into music that made me feel like I was on my third marriage and having a hard time opening up my heart to love. If I’m being honest (and I usually am, to my own detriment), I still like this song, and it gets stuck in my head an alarming amount, especially since I haven’t heard it for about 15 years.
Did you know that Vince Gill and Amy Grant were married to different people when they recorded this song? Now they are married to each other! I am so happy they found love.

3. Annie Lennox, Diva
I asked my mom what a diva was after I bought this, and she told me she didn’t know. I’m pretty sure this was just another example of the adults in my life not wanting to answer my incessant questions. Either way, I could’ve just looked at this cover and figured out what a diva was:

I was really (and I mean really) into the song Walking on Broken Glass. Once again, third grade was a tumultuous time for me. People were always tryin’ to cut me down, I was always telling them that I might bleed. The fact that John Malkovich and Hugh Laurie were in this video was lost on me as a child. Apparently I only had eyes for Alice Cooper, although these guys are wearing about the same amount of makeup.

It’s more than a little disturbing to realize how little my taste in music has changed. I haven’t heard Walking On Broken Glass in years, but that staccato piano tinkling still gets to me. If any of these albums/songs came out today, I would still buy them. Well, if CD Jungle was still in business, I would (RIP).