American celebrity portrait photographer
Astrology chart, profile, music, books, DVDs, links
Unknown Ascendant, Libra Sun, Aquarius Moon, Cardinal T-Square
Born: Anna-Lou Leibovitz, 2 October 1949, Waterbury, Connecticut, USA. [Sy Scholfield (copyright) quotes flat data from various biographical materials. RR: XB].
FEATURES: PERSONALIZED PLANETS:
Aries ERIS (conjunct North Node; opposite and ruling Libra Sun; semi-square Moon?), Cancer URANUS (square Sun; rules Aquarius Moon), Libra SUN-MERCURY-NEPTUNE (conjunct South Node).
PATTERNS: FIXED T-SQUARE (Aquarius Moon opposite Leo MARS-PLUTO, all square Scorpio VENUS), CARDINAL T-SQUARE (Libra SUN-MERCURY-NEPTUNE opposite Aries ERIS, all square Cancer URANUS).
MUTUAL RECEPTION: Cancer URANUS & Aquarius MOON.
CHINESE SIGN: EARTH BUFFALO (OX). NUMEROLOGY: "9" LIFEPATH.
[with Astrology notes by Sy Scholfield]
Anna-Lou "Annie" Leibovitz (pronounced /ˈliːbəvɪts/) (born October 2, 1949) is an American portrait photographer whose style is marked by a close collaboration between the photographer and the subject. [Leibovitz has Eris (the 'relationship planet') opposite and ruling a conjunction of the Sun (the 'artist planet') and Neptune (the 'photography planet') both in Libra (the 'sign of collaboration')].
Early life and education
Born in Waterbury, Connecticut, Leibovitz is the third of six children. Her mother, Marilyn Leibovitz, was a modern dance instructor [Venus in Pisces (dance) decan of Scorpio; Neptune (dance planet) probably trine motherly Moon]; her father, Sam Leibovitz, was a lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force [Eris in military Aries opposite and ruling fatherly Sun]. The family moved frequently with her father's duty assignments, and she took her first pictures when he was stationed in the Philippines ['wanderlust and photography planet' Neptune and 'mobile planet' Mercury both conjunct paternal Sun].
In high school, she became interested in the various artistic endeavours, and began to write and play music. She attended the San Francisco Art Institute, where she studied painting. She became interested in photography after taking pictures when she lived in the Philippines, where her Air Force father was stationed during the Vietnam War. For several years, she continued to develop her photography skills while she worked various jobs, including a stint on a kibbutz in Amir, Israel for several months in 1969. [Aquarius Moon people tend to seek out alternative family and community lifestyles to add to their life experiences].
Rolling Stone magazine
When Leibovitz returned to the United States in 1970, she started her career as staff photographer, working for the recently launched Rolling Stone magazine [artistic Venus in photographic Pisces decan at 21 degrees Scorpio, indicating the path she would take around age 21]. In 1973, publisher Jann Wenner named Leibovitz chief photographer of Rolling Stone, a job she would hold for 10 years. Leibovitz worked for the magazine until 1983, and her intimate photographs of celebrities helped define the Rolling Stone look. In 1975, Leibovitz served as a concert-tour photographer for The Rolling Stones' Tour of the Americas.
Lennon and Ono
On December 8, 1980, Leibovitz had a photo shoot with John Lennon for Rolling Stone, promising him he would make the cover. After she had initially tried to get a picture with just Lennon alone, which is what Rolling Stone wanted, Lennon insisted that both he and Yoko Ono be on the cover. Leibovitz then tried to re-create something like the kissing scene from the Double Fantasy album cover, a picture that she loved [imaginative Neptune in dualistic Libra loves a 'double fantasy']. She had John remove his clothes and curl up next to Yoko. Leibovitz recalls, "What is interesting is she said she'd take her top off and I said, 'Leave everything on' — not really preconceiving the picture at all. Then he curled up next to her and it was very, very strong. You couldn't help but feel that she was cold and he looked like he was clinging on to her. I think it was amazing to look at the first Polaroid and they were both very excited. John said, 'You've captured our relationship exactly. Promise me it'll be on the cover.' I looked him in the eye and we shook on it." [Leibovitz has the 'cold and emotionally-detached planet' Uranus in mutual reception with the 'clingy planet,' the Moon] Leibovitz was the last person to professionally photograph Lennon—he was shot and killed by Mark David Chapman five hours later. [Leibovitz's Vesta at 29 Sagittarius indicates a life-changing event at age 29; Leibovitz has her Neptune, Ceres and South Node conjunct Lennon's Libra Sun, explaining the strong karmic connection between them].
Other noted projects
In the 1980s, Annie's new style of lighting and use of bold colors and poses, got her the position with "Vanity Fair" magazine. Leibovitz photographed celebrities for an international advertising campaign for American Express charge cards, winning her a "Clio" award in 1987.
In 1991, Leibovitz mounted an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.
Also in 1991, Leibovitz emulated Margaret Bourke-White's feat, when she mounted one of the eagle gargoyles on the 61st floor of the Chrysler Building in Manhattan, where she photographed the dancer David Parsons cavorting on another eagle gargoyle. Noted Life photographer and picture editor John Loengard made a gripping photo of Leibovitz at the climax of her danger. (Loengard was photographing Leibovitz for the New York Times that day). [artistic Venus in photographic Pisces decan of death-defeating Pluto]
A major retrospective of Leibovitz's work was held at the Brooklyn Museum, Oct. 2006 - Jan. 2007. The retrospective was based on her book, Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer's Life, 1990 – 2005, and included many of her professional (celebrity) photographs as well as numerous personal photographs of her family, children, and partner Susan Sontag. This show, which was expanded to include three of the official portraits of Queen Elizabeth II, then went on the road for seven stops. It was on display at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., from October 2007 to January 2008, and as of April 2008 is at the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. In February 2009 the exhibition was moved to Berlin, Germany. The show included 200 photographs. At the exhibition, Leibovitz said that she doesn't have two lives, career and personal, but has one where assignments and personal pictures are all part of her works. This exhibition and her talk focused on her personal photographs and life. [this artist with a Libran Sun does not draw a distinction between her life and work]
In 2007, The BBC misrepresented a portrait shooting by Leibovitz of Queen Elizabeth II to take the queen's official picture for her state visit to Virginia. This was filmed for the BBC documentary A Year with the Queen. A promotional trailer for the film showed the Queen reacting angrily to Leibovitz's suggestion ("less dressy") that she remove her tiara, then a scene of the Queen walking down a corridor, telling an aide "I'm not changing anything. I've had enough dressing like this, thank you very much." The BBC later apologised and admitted that the sequence of events had been misrepresented, as the Queen was in fact walking to the sitting in the second scene. This led to a BBC scandal and a shake-up of ethics training. See The Tiaragate Affair.
In 2007, the Walt Disney Company hired her to do a series of photographs with celebrities in various roles and scenes for Disney Parks "Year of a Million Dreams" campaign.
On April 25, 2008, the televised entertainment program Entertainment Tonight reported that 15 year old Miley Cyrus had posed topless for a photo shoot with Vanity Fair. The photograph, and subsequently released behind-the-scenes photographs, show Cyrus without a top, her bare back exposed but her front covered with a bedsheet. The photo shoot was taken by photographer Annie Leibovitz. The full photograph was published with an accompanying story on The New York Times' website on April 27, 2008. On April 29, 2008, The New York Times clarified that though the pictures left an impression that she was bare-breasted, Cyrus was wrapped in a bedsheet and was actually not topless. Some parents expressed outrage at the nature of the photograph, which a Disney spokesperson described as "a situation [that] was created to deliberately manipulate a 15-year-old in order to sell magazines." [Leibovitz has Mars at 15 Leo and Ceres at 15 Libra, indicating that an issue could arise with a 15-year-old].
In response to the internet circulation of the photo and ensuing media attention, Cyrus released a statement of apology on April 27: “I took part in a photo shoot that was supposed to be ‘artistic’ and now, seeing the photographs and reading the story, I feel so embarrassed. I never intended for any of this to happen and I apologize to my fans who I care so deeply about."
Leibovitz also released a statement saying: "I'm sorry that my portrait of Miley has been misinterpreted," Leibovitz said. " The photograph is a simple, classic portrait, shot with very little makeup, and I think it is very beautiful." [Venus in Scorpio can see the plain beauty and perceived danger in her work]
Since 1977, Leibovitz licensing images have been represented by Contact Press Images, a photojournalism agency based in New York City. Her assignment work is represented by Jim Moffat at A Corporation for Art & Commerce in New York.
Leibovitz had a close romantic relationship with noted writer and essayist Susan Sontag. They met in 1989, when both had already established notability in their careers. Leibovitz has suggested that Sontag mentored her and constructively criticized her work.
After Sontag's death in 2004, Newsweek published an article about Leibovitz that made reference to her decade-plus relationship with Sontag, stating that "The two first met in the late '80s, when Leibovitz photographed her for a book jacket. They never lived together, though they each had an apartment within view of the other's." [Aquarian Moon people tend to live independent lives].
Neither Leibovitz nor Sontag had ever previously publicly disclosed whether the relationship was familial, a friendship, or romantic in nature [Venus in Scorpio likes to keep her relationship a secret]. However, when Leibovitz was interviewed for her 2006 book A Photographer's Life: 1990-2005, she said the book told a number of stories, and that "with Susan, it was a love story." [The Leobovitz-Sontag composite chart includes a triple conjunction of 'love planet' Venus and the 'luminaries,' the Sun and Moon, all in multi-faceted Sagittarius].
In the preface to the new book, she speaks in greater detail about her romantic/intellectual relationship with Sontag, briefly discussing a book they were working on together and describes how assembling her new book was part of the grieving process after Sontag's death. The book and accompanying show include many photographs of Sontag throughout their life together, including several on her deathbed [Venus in Scorpio manifests in deathbed photographs].
Leibovitz acknowledged that she and Sontag were romantically involved. When asked why she used terms like "companion" to describe Sontag, instead of more specific ones like "partner" or "lover," Leibovitz finally said that "lover" was fine with her. She later repeated the assertion in stating to the San Francisco Chronicle: "Call us 'lovers'. I like 'lovers.' You know, 'lovers' sounds romantic. I mean, I want to be perfectly clear. I love Susan." [Eris in Aries likes to make the meaning of relationships plainly understood].
Leibovitz has three children: Sarah Cameron Leibovitz (b. October 2001) was born when Leibovitz was 51 years old [Aquarian Moon people are not usually interested in conformimg to conventional family arrangements]. Her twins Susan and Samuelle were born to a surrogate mother in May 2005. [Uranus and Moon in mutual reception indicates a mutually beneficial relationship between women using the latest technology].
In February 2009, Leibovitz borrowed $15.5 million, having experienced financial challenges in the recent years. She put up as collateral, not only several houses, but the rights to all of her photographs. [Just over 30 years after the Lennon incident Leibovitz's Vesta at 29 Sagittarius is again activated, indicating a period of major life change]. The New York Times noted “one of the world’s most successful photographers essentially pawned every snap of the shutter she had made or will make until the loans are paid off." [Mars conjunct Pluto in Leo indicates an eventual battle over the control of one's artistic legacy]. In July 2009, a breach of contract lawsuit against Leibovitz was filed by Art Capital Group in the amount of $24 million regarding the repayment of these loans.
In a follow-up article, the Times explores why an artist of her standing could be in such financial straits, despite a $50 million archive. They cite a "long history of less than careful financial dealings," and "a recent series of personal issues." [The Sabian Symbol for 13 Virgo is "A family tree." Leibovitz has unaspected Saturn on this degree explaining not only family tragedy but also unexplained or unexplainable finances]. The latter include the recent loss of her father, her mother, her companion (Susan Sontag), the addition of two children to her family, and the controversial renovation of three properties in Greenwich Village.
In early September 2009, an Associated Press story quoted legal experts as saying that filing for bankruptcy reorganization might offer Leibovitz her best chance to control and direct the disposition of her assets to satisfy debts. On September 11th, Art Capital Group withdrew its lawsuit against Leibovitz, and extended the due date for repayment of the $24 million loan. Under the agreement, Leibovitz retains control over her work, and will be the "exclusive agent in the sale of her real property and copyrights." [the agreement occurred under a transit of Venus retrograde (agreement about money recovery) over her Leo Pluto (artistic legacy)].
Famous Leibovitz photographs
John Lennon and Yoko Ono for the Jan. 22, 1981 Rolling Stone cover, shot the day of Lennon's death [Leibovitz's Sun is conjunct Lennon's North Node and Yoko Ono's Ascendant; Leibovitz's Scorpio Venus in conjunct the Scorpio Venus in the Lennon-Ono composite chart].
Linda Ronstadt in a red slip, on her bed, reaching for a glass of water in a 1976 cover story for Rolling Stone magazine [Leibovitz's Sun-Mercury is conjunct Ronstadt's Neptune-MC].
Demi Moore has been the subject of two highly publicized Vanity Fair covers taken by Leibovitz: More Demi Moore (Aug. 1991) featuring Moore pregnant and nude, and Demi's Birthday Suit (Aug 1992), showing Moore nude with a suit painted on her body [Leibovitz's Scorpio Venus is conjunct Moore's Scorpio Venus].
Fleetwood Mac for a 1977 issue of Rolling Stone magazine. Stevie Nicks and Mick Fleetwood are shown lying together, as are Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham at the opposite end of the bed. John McVie is shown reading Playboy magazine.
Brooke Shields, pregnant for the cover of Vogue in April 2003. This was the first image of a visibly pregnant woman on its cover [Leibovitz's Saturn is conjunct Shields's Pluto].
Whoopi Goldberg lying in a bathtub full of milk, shot from above [Leibovitz's Venus is conjunct Goldberg's Sun].
Christo, fully wrapped so the viewer must take the artist's word that Christo is actually under the wrapping .
David Cassidy on the Rolling Stone cover depicting him naked from his head to his waist [Leibovitz's Eris is conjunct Cassidy's North Node].
Dolly Parton vamping for the camera while Arnold Schwarzenegger flexes his biceps behind her [Leibovitz's Saturn is conjunct Parton's Ascendant].
Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, as The Blues Brothers, with their faces painted blue .
Keira Knightley and Scarlett Johansson, both nude, with a fully-clothed Tom Ford, for the cover of Vanity Fair's March 2006 Hollywood Issue .
Queen Elizabeth II on occasion of her state visit in United States in 2007 [Leibovitz's Venus is conjunct Elizabeth II's Saturn-MC; Leibovitz's Mars-Pluto is conjunct Elizabeth II's Moon-Neptune].
Sting in the desert, covered in mud to blend in with the scenery .
Closeup portrait of Pete Townshend framed by his bleeding hand dripping real blood down the side of his face .
"Fire" portrait and caption "Patti Smith Catches Fire" .
Cyndi Lauper, She's So Unusual and True Colors album covers .
Bruce Springsteen, Born in the U.S.A. album cover .
Gisele Bündchen and LeBron James on the April 2008 cover of Vogue America.
Miley Cyrus' Vanity Fair photo in which the child star appeared semi-nude, leading to a controversy .
Michael Jackson twice for the cover of the Vanity Fair magazine, including other additional photographs of him which were not featured on the cover of the magazine .
Bill Gates for the cover of Gates' book "The Road Ahead".
Leibovitz's photography books
A Photographer’s Life 1990–2005 (catalog for a travelling exhibit that debuted at the Brooklyn Museum in October 2006)
Annie Leibovitz: At Work
....[read more at her Wikipedia profile]