“Annie explores the independent phase of People's life,” writes Doris Kearns Goodwin, the co-author of Pilgrimage with Annie Leibovitz. The exhibition of the same name is on display at the American Art Museum through May 20, 2012.
After nearly 40 years of prolific and successful work in the advertising, fashion, and celebrity portraiture, Annie Leibovitz has been designated a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress and has received many other awards and recognitions.
In this exhibition, Leibovitz’s photographs take on a different theme. Instead of her well-known, extravagant, eccentric, dramatic sometimes controversial photographic presentation, this series of her works are extremely simple, unpolished and forthright.
In this exhibit, Leibovitz photographed the view from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s bedroom window, Emily Dickinson’s only surviving dress, Thomas Jefferson’s vegetable garden, Elvis’ 1957 Harley-Davidson Hydra Glide motorcycle, and a box of Georgia O’Keefe’s homemade pastels. “I’m dealing with things that are going away, disappearing, crumbling. How do we hold on to stuff?” Leibovitz said in an October 29, 2011 New York Times article. What strikes me the most in this collection is her unconventional angle of capturing the daily routine subjects that are left behind.
I was mesmerized by the rawness and organic presentation of her non-portrait photos. These things she photographs show that we all suffer and experience sadness as well as celebrate and cheer for excitement and joy.
Anqi Xue, native from Shanghai, China, is a recent graduate of Master of Arts in Arts Management at George Mason University and the ARTS by George Scholarship recipient. Anqi’s personal website/blog is http://xueanqi.wordpress.com
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