Enter Into Joy

Friday, November 19, 2010

Art & Commerce 2

Annie Liebovitz

There is an instructional article in the Financial Times titled: How Annie got shot. It tells how famous photographer Annie Leibovitz, while spending her illustrious career photographing famous celebs, along the way ignored her accumulating photographic legacy. Recently, after getting into enormous financial difficulties by ignoring the fine print, (a common failing amongst creatives), she has now belatedly tried to capitalize on her vast portfolio of iconic images in order to climb out of the financial hole she finds herself in. So far it doesn’t appear to be working. Her photographs don’t fetch anywhere near the sums commanded by Avedon, Penn, Steichen and the like. There are various theories why this is.  But amongst the most telling appears to me to be her historical snubbing of gallery owners and art dealers who used to vie for her work and attention. Now that the shoe is on the other foot they appear to be disinclined to cooperate. This may pass. It does illustrate the need, even if you happen to be very famous and busy, not to let bridges fall into disrepair that you might need to cross one day.

— John Katz



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