She's Writing History: The Best of Annie Leibovitz, Photographer of Elena Zelenskaya

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    She writes history: the best works of Annie Leibovitz, who shot Elena Zelenskaya

    Annie Leibovitz knows how to shoot in such a way that the viewer sees not just a person, but reads his soul. The most famous people on the planet posed for her.

    72-year-old American photographer Annie Leibovitz became a legend during her lifetime, since it was she who created the most famous portraits of major politicians, artists, members of royal families. Recently, the master came to Kyiv, where she filmed the first lady of Ukraine, Elena Zelenskaya, and her wife. While an active discussion of the presidential couple's photo shoot continues in the Ukrainian segment of social networks, Focus decided to collect 10 of Annie's most famous pictures.

    1. John Lennon and Yoko Ono

    One of the most famous and controversial photographs was taken five hours before John Lennon's death in New York City on December 8, 1980. In the frame, a completely naked musician hugs his wife Yoko, actually wrapping himself around her. The woman is posing in clothes. The photo shoot was organized by Rolling Stone magazine in connection with the release of Lennon's new album Double Fantasy. Leibovitz asked John Lennon to take off his clothes and snuggle up to Yoko.

    “There were no ideas, nothing was rehearsed, he suddenly curled up and hugged her. It was very, very strong,” the author of the photo later admitted.

    When Lennon saw the pictures, he liked them very much. According to the artist, they depict his relationship with his wife exactly as they were.

    “John is not afraid to appear vulnerable, naked in front of the woman he loves,” Ono added.

    Magazine came out with this cover photo on January 22, 1981, with no headlines. By that time, Lennon was no longer among the living: five hours after filming, he was killed by Mark David Chapman, who shot the musician four times in the back.

    In 2005, this cover was named #1 on the American Society of Editors' list of the best magazine covers of the past 40 years.

    She writes history: the best of Annie Leibovitz, who photographed Elena Zelenskaya

    2. Meryl Streep

    Portrait of Meryl Streep was made by Annie Leibovitz in 1981 in New York. It shows a close-up of an all-white-faced actress stretching her skin with her fingertips, as if hinting at her ability to shape-shift as she takes on new roles. In 2017, Annie again shot Streep for the cover of Vogue.

    She's writing history: the best of Annie Leibovitz, who photographed Elena Zelenskaya

    3. Whoopi Goldberg

    The photo, taken for Vanity Fair in 1984, shows 29-year-old Whoopi Goldberg, who just broke into the comedy scene. Annie decided to photograph Goldberg in a milk bath. The idea came to her after she saw Goldberg comedy at a nightclub. In a small reprise, she played a black girl who tries to rub herself with bleach to give her skin a lighter shade. So the actress ridiculed “whitewashing” – a racist tradition in which only people with a lighter skin color could count on certain social privileges.

    Goldberg's expressive and lively pose is pure coincidence: plunging into the bath, the actress slipped and threw up arms and legs. The photographer was delighted with the frame, as it seemed spectacular and very graphic to Leibovitz.

    She writes history: the best works of Annie Leibovitz, who photographed Elena Zelenskaya

    4. Demi Moore

    When Annie was commissioned to photograph actress Demi Moore for Vanity Fair in 1981, the editors asked for a close-up of her face, as Moore was seven months pregnant at the time. Demi was given haute couture dresses to hide her interesting position. After Annie finished filming, she took a series of intimate nude shots of Demi and her family. As a result, with the blessing of the actress, the cover of the magazine was decorated with her naked photo, where she looks into the frame, supporting her stomach with one hand and covering her breasts with the other. The photo of a pregnant Demi Moore made such an impression that the issue with this cover raised the circulation of Vanity Fair from 800 thousand to one million. Later, this picture entered the history of pop culture.

    She writes history: the best works of Annie Leibovitz, who photographed Elena Zelenskaya

    5. Jack Nicholson

    Annie poses as a noir detective in a photograph spectacularly lit by the headlights of an old car and a misty Los Angeles sunset. The image is reminiscent of the iconic actor's famous role in Chinatown, the 1974 film.

    She writes history: the best works of Annie Leibovitz, who photographed Elena Zelenskaya

    6. Arnold Schwarzenegger

    In 1975, Annie photographed Arnold Schwarzenegger during his participation in the Mr. Olympia competition. In the photo, he poses on horseback and stripped to the waist. The picture later became legendary. “Iron Arnie” recalled that Leibovitz, who at that time was still very young, knew how to delve into the essence of everyone's life, to be in the “skin” of the one she shoots. That's what made Annie's photos special.

    She writes history: the best of Annie Leibovitz, who photographed Elena Zelenskaya

    7. Queen Elizabeth II

    In 2007, Leibovitz had the honor of being the first American photographer to be invited to the palace to take an official portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. In the pictures, the monarch is captured in her finest regalia and looks regal and powerful. However, Leibovitz managed to capture the very fine line between grandeur and femininity.

    Filming didn't go as smoothly as expected. At first, Elizabeth was half an hour late due to the fact that it took her a long time to fully dress. Later, when Annie asked the Queen to take off the tiara because it looked too dressy, Her Majesty got angry as she had already gone through the process of putting it on and getting the right hairstyle. The footage of this meeting was broadcast by the BBC and was considered a real scandal. Nevertheless, everyone was pleased with the end result.

    Later, Leibovitz made several more portraits of the Queen over the years and even shot her for the cover of a magazine.

    She's writing history: the best of Annie Leibovitz, who shot Elena Zelenskaya

    8. Leonardo DiCaprio

    The portrait of a young actor holding a swan in his arms, which wrapped around his neck, was made by Annie in 1997, almost before the release of the film “Titanic”. At that time, Leonardo DiCaprio was yet to become a star of the first magnitude and the object of fantasy of every second teenage girl. But he had already begun to make his way into women's hearts two years earlier, when he played the role of Romeo in director Baz Luhrmann's modern interpretation of Shakespeare's classic tragedy.

    The swan wrapped around DiCaprio's neck in the photo evokes memories of Björk's dress at the 2001 Oscars, which was then ridiculed and recently exhibited at the New York Museum of Modern Art.

    She writes history: the best of Annie Leibovitz, who photographed Elena Zelenskaya

    9. Angelina Jolie

    The actress repeatedly posed for the great Leibovitz, and a close relationship developed between the women. In June 2005, Annie took one of her most memorable shots, photographing Angelina Jolie naked in a bathtub. At that time, Jolie was a single mother of the adopted Maddox and advertised the film “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” with Brad Pitt, who was still married to Jennifer Aniston.

    In the picture, she is lying in the bath, showing her covered tattooed skin.

    A couple of months after the photo appeared, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston announced their divorce.

    She writes history: the best of Annie Leibovitz, who shot Elena Zelenskaya

    10. Mick Jagger

    After establishing a reputation in Rolling Stone magazine as an exceptionally hard-working and talented photographer, Annie was asked to be the photographer for Rolling Stone's next tour. The most famous photograph she took in 1975 is of vocalist Mick Jagger after one of her performances in New York. In the frame, he is standing in the elevator, wrapped in a bathrobe with a towel over his head, looking exhausted.

    She writes history: the best of Annie Leibovitz, who photographed Elena Zelenskaya

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