Pirelli’s star-studded 2017 calendar ‘a cry against the terror of perfection’

Taking another bold step away from risqué shots and nude models, Pirelli unveiled the 2017 edition of its famed calendar — featuring Peter Lindbergh’s take on natural beauty and starring some of the globe’s best known actresses.

The Italian tire manufacturer’s famed calendar, one of the world’s most popular annual photographic publications, was unveiled by the German photographer in Paris on Tuesday. 

Uma Thurman

‘It’s like an interview, but with a camera,’ actress Uma Thurman said of her session with Peter Lindbergh for the 2017 edition of the Pirelli calendar. (Peter Lindbergh/Pirelli)

He was accompanied by actresses Helen Mirren, Uma Thurman and Nicole Kidman, just three of the stars he captured with his lens.

Following in the vein of the 2016 edition, photographed by Annie Leibovitz, this year’s calendar spotlights the famed subjects in images that depict a more naturalistic concept of beauty — a far cry from some campaigns of the past, which often featured scantily clad or nude models captured in exotic locales.

The idea was to gather “the best actresses in the world, who have something to say,” Lindbergh, known for his stark black-and-white portraiture, says in a behind-the-scenes video.

“I approached them and said, ‘I want to do something that is a cry against the terror of perfection and youth.”

The calendar’s move toward less sexualized images of women marks “undoubtedly a cultural shift, a real opening up and a big change,” Mirren said.

The choice to proudly look your age projects a good example of what natural beauty should be, said Kidman, who added, “the courage to be yourself is the epitome of confidence and power.”

Nicole Kidman

Linderbergh chose to shoot the actresses with little makeup and titled this year’s edition Emotional ‘to create a calendar not around perfect bodies, but on sensitivity and emotion, stripping down to the very soul of the sitters, who thus become more nude than naked.’ (Peter Lindbergh/Pirelli)

More than a dozen top actresses — across a variety of age ranges and hailing from around the globe — appear:

  • Veteran performers Mirren and Charlotte Rampling.
  • Mid-career stars Kidman, Thurman, Julianne Moore, Robin Wright, Penelope Cruz, Kate Winslet, Jessica Chastain and Zhang Ziyi. 
  • Up-and-comers Lupita Nyong’o, Rooney Mara, Léa Seydoux and Alicia Vikander. 

The lone non-actor to appear in the 2017 calendar is Anastasia Ignatova, a professor of political theory at Moscow State University and daughter-in-law of Sergey Chemezov, CEO of state-owned Russian industrial and technology giant Rostec (Pirelli’s partner in the joint venture Pirelli Tyre Russia).

Robyn Wright

The subjects range in age from septuagenarian performers to mid-career stars such as Robin Wright to up-and-comers. (Peter Lindbergh/Pirelli)

High-art take on ‘the pin-up’

Lindbergh shot the photos in May and June in Berlin, Los Angeles, New York, London and Le Touquet, France.

It’s the photographer’s fourth time shooting for the calendar. He first teamed up with the tire firm for the 1996 edition, setting his shoot at the El Mirage lake bed in California’s Mojave Desert. They partnered again in 2002 for a shoot at the Paramount Pictures studios in Los Angeles.

Lindbergh also worked alongside Patrick Demarchelier to snap shots to promote the 50th anniversary edition of the calendar in 2014.

Pirelli first published its high-art take on the “pin-up” calendar in 1963 as a gift to customers. The annual release has since achieved iconic status over the years for enlisting famous fashion and art photographers such as Bert Stern, Herb Ritts, Helmut Newton and Richard Avedon, as well as for its comely subjects: glamorous super models and actresses.

The calendars cannot be bought. Approximately 33,000 are printed each year and now given as gifts to valuable Pirelli clients and a number of VIPs.

Julianne Moore

‘As an artist, I feel I’m responsible for freeing women from the idea of eternal youth and perfection. The ideal of perfect beauty promoted by society is something that simply can’t be attained,’ Lindbergh said. (Peter Lindbergh/Pirelli)

Article source: