The new Pirelli Calendar was released officially in Moscow last week, and as usual, it is an event on its own in the world of photography. After Terry Richardson in 2010 – which did not makes me say ‘wow’ – and Peter Beard in 2009 – that was a big WoW -, it is Karl Lagerfeld who has the honor. And this time, I wowed a few times.
From his Paris studio, Lagerfeld created “Mythology”, a calendar that reflects one of his deepest passions, that of Greek and Roman mythology, tales of the origins of humanity told through the adventures of gods and goddesses, heroes and heroines.
The 36 photos that make up the 2011 Calendar show 24 different subjects, including gods, heroes and myths. With his keen eye, Lagerfeld has ‘sculpted’ these photos both in terms of their aesthetic rigour and for the recurring references to the art of sculpture and its classical tenets. All of the photos are in black and white, which lends character to the images, exalts the beauty of the figures represented in sharp chromatic contrast, and gives them a certain three-dimensionality through the careful use of light.
The 36 images are all across the web already, in different format ; some propose a noteworthy reason to be in my selection, but that’s a very personal ‘curation’.
Karl Lagerfeld added some male models in the selection, a good addition which may help renewing the calendar itself.
Karl Lagerfeld, in an interview following the calendar presentation, talked about Julianne Moore presence in the calendar:
I really did want an actress for the wife of Zeus and for the mother of the Olympian gods. Julianne’s a beautiful woman – more matronly than the young girls under the olive trees. She’s a very dear friend. She knew she wouldn’t be running any risks with me — there wouldn’t be a parallel publication sold under the counter!