Thursday, November 20, 2008

Lantern walk + Annie Leibovitz


The boys' school had a lantern walk tonight. We walked around the north park blocks and sang songs and drank hot chocolate.

Then went to see Annie Leibovitz as part of the Portland Arts and Lectures series. Kathleen from the Oregon Council for the Humanities offered the tickets. Partially a thank you, I'm sure, for agreeing to participate in a Think and Drink lecture series they are hosting December 3.

I told Luker I was going and he confessed he was not a fan. Too controlled, I guessed. Yep.

There was an overflow crowd, more blue-hairs than artists. Leibovitz read from her new book, Annie Leibovitz at Work, where she writes about the process behind a hundred or so of her most well-known photos.

She actually started off her career very loose, photojournalistic, and discovered the idea-based, composed photos after she had achieved some fame. As the chief photographer for Rolling Stone (at age 23), people began coming to her have their portrait taken, versus the other way around, and they would ask, "What do you want me to do?" And she realized, a photo can be an idea.

Tonight she seemed sort of irritable, and not particularly revealing, but I enjoyed the evening, the seats - front row? - and the chance to review this amazing body of work with the photographer herself.

The book went to press in August, and she chose to end the book with a photo she took on the campaign trail with Obama before she knew what would happen in the election. Had to document this moment, she said. The hope.

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