Annie Leibovitz's 'WOMEN: New Portraits', a Sweeping Celebration of Global Sisterhood
A week after the historic U.S. presidential election, superstar portraitist Annie Leibovitz, as well as the iconic feminist Gloria Steinem and other female influencers including Anna Wintour, gathered in Chelsea, New York to view Leibovitz’s latest installment from her highly inspirational ‘Women’ series titled, ‘WOMEN: New Portraits.’ The traveling exhibition, which launched in London in January, makes its penultimate stop in New York City, and features female luminaries from all walks of life: aristocracy, entertainment, politics, sports, the arts, technology, entrepreneurship, philanthropy, etc. In Leibovitz’s words, “What this works does is, it shows how diverse women are.”
Commissioned by UBS, Leibovitz picked up where she left off in 1999 with the original release of ‘Women,’ a collection of 100 poignant and moving images of female subjects – both famous and unknown – as well as a touching essay by her late partner Susan Sontag. In the new ‘WOMEN,’ 20 more portraits have been added, including: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, who poses confidently and stares intently at the camera; the young activist Malala Yousafzai captured in a courageous yet humble stance; and ABT principal dancer Misty Copeland, seen in a serene, almost meditative shot. Leibovitz also revisits the famed Williams sisters, Venus and Serena, originally photographed as teenagers in 1998, now pictured as accomplished women sharing an unbreakable sisterly bond. It’s these kinds of moments that Leibovitz treasures, stating, “In my work for Vanity Fair and Vogue, I can’t sometimes take the pictures that I really want to take".
Gloria Steinem has been pivotal for the exhibit, as she advised Leibovitz on compiling the new list of subjects and contributed critical text to the catalog essay, in addition to her portrait appearing in the show. The exhibit location at the former Bayview Correctional Facility, previously a women’s prison and soon to become the Women’s Building, was a space Steinem advocated for, and will be built, designed, and managed by women. So yes, rest assured the future will most definitely be female.”
‘WOMEN: New Portraits’ by Annie Leibovitz was on view through December 11, 2016 at the former Bayview Correctional Facility in New York, with free admission for all visitors. The traveling exhibit has been on a 10-city tour making stops in Tokyo, San Francisco, Singapore, Hong Kong, Mexico City, Istanbul, Frankfurt, and Zurich as the final stop.
This article originally appeared in Duggal Connect.