Cambrian: Arts & Events

Cambria historian to discuss Leibovitz photos

Tess Wright will speak on the work of photographer Annie Leibovitz at an Art Talk scheduled for Sunday at Cambria Center for the Arts.
Tess Wright will speak on the work of photographer Annie Leibovitz at an Art Talk scheduled for Sunday at Cambria Center for the Arts.

Photographer Annie Leibovitz will be the subject for Cambria art historian Tess Wright’s next Art Talk, set for 1 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 22, in the Conference Room at Cambria Center for the Arts, 1350 Main St.

Compared to most of Wright’s subjects, who have been important artists from the past, Leibovitz is very much alive and still creating important work. Born in Connecticut in 1949, Leibovitz became involved in photography after receiving a camera as a child. Her father’s career as an officer in the Air Force gave her the opportunity to take photos all over the world as the family traveled to his various posts.

Leibovitz studied painting and then photography at the San Francisco Art Institute, where she was influenced by photographers including Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Frank. In 1970, she landed a job with Rolling Stone magazine, where she soon became head photographer. While there, she developed her trademark style of bold colors and unusual poses.

Leibovitz photographed the Rolling Stones on tour in 1975, and five years later photographed John Lennon on the day he was assassinated. She also did the photography for two Joan Armatrading albums.

Other famous subjects have included Whoopi Goldberg, Dolly Parton, Queen Elizabeth II, Miley Cyrus, Michael Jackson and Rihanna.

In 1983, she got a job with Vanity Fair, where she created stunning and often controversial cover photographs of celebrities and fashion beauties. Her photographs were also published in Vogue.

She eventually started photographing women in all levels of life not just the famous and/or glamorous. She joined forces with Susan Sontag to publish the book “Women.”

Sontag died in 2004, but Leibovitz continued working in the same vein. She is currently involved with a traveling portrait exhibition, which she considers a “work in progress” called “Women: New Portraits,” which attempts to show how women have grown and changed over the years.

Wright will show us many slides of Leibovitz’s work. Everyone is welcome. Admission is free for Allied Arts members and students; a $3 donation is suggested for nonmembers. Details: cambriacenterforthearts. org or 805-927-3291.

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