US photographer Annie Leibovitz sells new print series to raise funds for charity


American photographer Annie Leibovitz is offering a new composite series, entitled 'Upstate,' to raise funds for charity. Photo: AFP

Hauser & Wirth is celebrating the renowned American photographer Annie Leibovitz in the online exhibition, Annie Leibovitz: Still Life, which is currently available on the mega-gallery's website. The presentation documents how the coronavirus pandemic has forced Leibovitz to depart from the portraiture-based work she is known for and to embrace photojournalism.

Annie Leibovitz: Still Life combines images from a project completed by the artist before the onset of the global health crisis alongside a suite of recent photographs made during the lockdown.

The earliest photographs explore places inhabited by people from the past who were meaningful to Leibovitz, such as Emily Dickinson, Georgia O'Keeffe and Virginia Woolf.

"It wasn't an assignment. It was very personal. I traveled alone to places that interested me. There were no people in the pictures. I photographed houses and landscapes and objects that belonged to people who were no longer there," the artist said in a statement.

The other body of work featured in Annie Leibovitz: Still Life include photographs that document the landscape of her home in upstate New York, where she has been living during the quarantine period.

Nine images of this time in self-isolation have been combined in a limited-edition print, entitled "Upstate," which is currently available for US$1,000 (RM4,280) as an edition of 100.

Upstate is offered under the umbrella of Hauser & Wirth's new global philanthropic and charitable initiative #artforbetter, with all proceeds of the sales being split equally between Black Lives Matter, the Equal Justice Initiative and COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization.

The price of this composite grid of Leibovitz's lockdown photographs is far from the prices achieved at auction by the artist's signature celebrity portraits.

Five pictures by Leibovitz went under the hammer in April during Sotheby's Photographs sale, with a portrait of Liberace and Scott Thorson surpassing its high pre-sale estimate of US$7,000 (RM29,956) to fetch US$15,000 (RM64,192). - AFP

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