Peter Lindbergh's Women
by Giulia Mutti, March 2015 (United Kingdom)
AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF INTERNATIONAL BEAUTY COMPILED BY THE ICONIC PHOTOGRAPHER
From the day Peter Lindbergh signed to Vogue in 1988 to his iconic Pirelli shoots, the German photographer has documented the world of fashion, capturing its most sublime beauties. Sophisticated, poignant and cinematic, Lindbergh’s predominantly black and white photography has been featured in fashion’s greatest magazines, including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar and W. Now 70, Lindbergh shows no sign of putting down his camera, with his latest project Images of Women II: 2005-2014 being a celebration of the last decade of his work.
A sequel to his 1997 Images of Women, Lindbergh’s latest book brings us a collection of fresh faces, from AnOther’s cover stars Kate Moss, Uma Thurman, Tilda Swinton, Michelle Williams and Scarlett Johansson to new-generation models like Mariacarla Boscono and Cara Delevingne. Counting nearly 300 pages of grayscale portraits, the creation of the book has proven to be invaluable for the photographer himself. "The last ten years have brought a lot more experience dealing with people in front of the camera," he said, "but also more guts to experiment with a more defined idea of what I want to achieve."
Born in Leszno, now Poland, in 1944, Lindbergh grew up in the mining town of Duisburg, West Germany, a background echoed in his legendary 1988 Comme des Garçons ad campaign. Shot in monochrome on stormy beaches in the North of France – his son Benjamin building sand castles while his father was on set – the industrial-age inspired shots featuring Marie Sophie Wilson, Lynne Koester and Tatjana Patitz represented the start of Lindbergh’s one-way journey to the magical land of fashion. They are also special to him for personal reasons: "I think they are among my personal favorites because of their intensity and because they show my roots," he says. "Where I come from in Germany looks like that."
Considering that when he first started as a photo assistant back in 1972 he “had no clue about anything”, Lindbergh’s rise is remarkable. Photographer by accident, artist by nature, Lindbergh’s sensibility has earned him the trust of his subjects. The mile-long list includes 90s girls Naomi Campbell and Milla Jovovich, but also Hollywood stars such as Julianne Moore, Cate Blanchett and Monica Bellucci – as recorded by this monograph, Lindbergh’s eye has captured the otherworldly faces of a generation.