WOMEN: New Portraits opens today at a former hydraulic power station in East London’s Wapping district. It’s a continuation of a project photographer Annie Leibovitz started in 1999 with Susan Sontag, who was born on this day in 1933.
Once the show wraps in the U.K. Feb. 7, it will be on to nine other cities, including New York. From Leibovitz’s recent conversation with The Wharf:
“The work is supposed to be democratic – all the frame sizes are fairly equal and you could have Hillary Clinton next to a homeless woman, there was no rhyme or reason. It was Susan Sontag’s idea, back in 1999 – I didn’t think it was a good idea.”
“I thought it was too big, like a huge ocean, and I didn’t know where it would begin and where it would end. It’s a story that’s never going to have an end, and it was surprising.”
“This time, I thought ‘I’m going to write down women I would like to photograph that makes sense to add to the project.’ What I love to do with my work is show what women do.”
Other cities on the WOMEN: New Portraits itinerary include San Francisco, Hong Kong, Zurich and Istanbul. In each case, the locale will be an unusual one for an art show. And thanks to event sponsor UBS, there is no admission fee.
“I am trying very hard for [Angela] Merkel. I respect that she doesn’t want to do interviews or photographs because she has other things to do and she’s having a difficult time right now.”
“I would probably shoot her working, which we have done with Hilary Clinton, I would love to do her just at work. I would be respectful of her not wanting to sit for a portrait.”