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Thread: In case you're wondering why you've been seeing so much Annie Leibovitz lately

  1. #1
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    In case you're wondering why you've been seeing so much Annie Leibovitz lately

    ...here's a New York Times article that provides an interesting angle. [Reading the NYT Online article may require a free membership signup; can't remember for sure.]

    Apparently Leibovitz has taken some hits in the real estate market, and to help cover the costs she has, among other things, hocked the rights to all her current and future work. Or as the article says, "one of the world’s most successful photographers essentially pawned every snap of the shutter she had made or will make until the loans are paid off." (It also notes that Leibovitz says her finances are fine and the loan is just to consolidate some mortgages.)

    Personally, I think that if Leibovitz is sweating a bit financially, it couldn't be happening to a more deserving person. But the larger point: she can hardly be the only celebritographer in the same boat, and as the article notes, artists and art collectors increasingly are looking at every one of their assets as a potential source of revenue. I would assume this also means we'll be seeing more big art/photography names doing celebrity endorsements, appearing in ads, etc., etc... you read it here first...

  2. #2
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    Re: In case you're wondering why you've been seeing so much Annie Leibovitz lately

    I never cared for her work. Other folks oogle and ah-gle over it; I'd keep quiet for fear I was missing something that was supposedly obvious. I don't think it was ever there.

    She built a wonderful and successful career, was an inspiration for many. But her work, her product, did nothing for me.

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    Re: In case you're wondering why you've been seeing so much Annie Leibovitz lately

    No need to refer to her in the past tense; she's still around, just has found an interesting approach to monetizing the value of her name.

    I've never been crazy about her work either -- I always suspected she was to whom Elliott Erwitt was referring when he said "You can be as outrageous as you want within the norm, but you're not allowed to go outside the norm." She's always struck me as a merely competent photographer who has succeeded on the strength of being a world-class self-promoter. But then, I feel the same way about a lot of big-name photographers...

    Anyway, my point in posting this was that if Annie L. is having to hock her future rights to keep her real estate holdings in line, imagine what other well-known but less-flush photo-celebs are going through...? In other words, I'm not going to be surprised if I start seeing even more big-name photogs doing ads, endorsements, workshops, etc., than we already see...

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    Re: In case you're wondering why you've been seeing so much Annie Leibovitz lately

    I hear about her a lot in this last 2 years, i didn't know her until i read something about her, to be honest i am not a fan about her works as well whatever a famous or inspiration is her, so good for her and good luck to her!

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    Re: In case you're wondering why you've been seeing so much Annie Leibovitz lately

    Have no idea what part is real and what part is speculation. AL has been at it for quite some time, ranging from so-so stuff to pretty interesting interpretations. She captures the attention of some, but not all, yet she still remains in demand, at least from folks like Vogue for those spectacle shoots, covering all the celebs in ways that few others can, and even the Queen wanted a portrait done by AL. So, while some folks may like her and others not, it is what it is.

    As for her personal financial situation....it is just that....her personal financial situation. Any choices she makes to either cover mortgages or maybe even support the huge operation and entourage she needs for many of her shoots is her business. As for her selling future rights and stuff, if she is able to capitalize on her past and present success today, versus being dead and never seeing a dime from added interest, more power to her. Let's be realistic.....iconic images will remain, whether she holds the rights to them or somebody else does. If she is able to monetize those assets to meet other needs today, that seems like it is her choice and it may not be such a bad idea.

    Not trying to sound like a fan of AL. I personally like some of her stuff, but not other parts. I think she does have an interesting interpretation on things, and a good eye to capture them. She does self-promote, but again, if that is part of being successful, then she is succeeding. (Most of us suck at doing that effectively, and then the sour grapes tend to make their presence in things like this thread.)

    Seems like her plan is working for her. Maybe others will follow. What difference does that really make? If the end result is a significant increase in exposure for photographers, is that such a bad thing? Just my thoughts.

    LJ

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    Re: In case you're wondering why you've been seeing so much Annie Leibovitz lately

    Hi There
    Well, if she's having to sell her future photographs, I guess she's in financial trouble, and if that's the case I'm truly sorry.
    If you want to be known as an artist, then you need to be known. Most of us aren't known, and it's mostly to do with presentation and marketing, not artistic value.
    If she's good at 'self promotion' or perhaps we should say 'marketing', then more power to her.
    I'm not sure if it's jealousy or what, but it seems to me that whenever someone is down, there are a whole load of people willing to do some kicking, and it sounds to me like she's down.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: In case you're wondering why you've been seeing so much Annie Leibovitz lately

    If you're able to read the NYT article, you'll find a lot more detail. The main subject is actually a business that specializes in lending money secured by works of art. Their clients are both art owners/collectors and artists. As the article says, essentially it's a high-end pawn shop. As with a lot of pawn shops, in many cases the loan eventually is repaid and the borrower gets back his/her property. In some cases it isn't, and the shop ends up owning the property.

    Leibovitz told the NYT in an email that her finances are fine and that she did the deal just as a convenient way to raise cash to consolidate the mortgages on three adjoining townhouses she owns in NYC. Others quoted in the story say she also had a run of expenses recently having to do with children, Susan Sontag's death, and various other life events.

    Anyway, even if she's in a financial pinch now, her name is bankable enough that I'm sure she'll be out of it soon, so I don't feel the need to get all sympathetic. I just wish the rights to all my past and future works were worth enough to cover the mortgages on three New York City townhouses, whether I exercised that option or not...

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    Re: In case you're wondering why you've been seeing so much Annie Leibovitz lately

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger 9 View Post

    Anyway, even if she's in a financial pinch now, her name is bankable enough that I'm sure she'll be out of it soon, so I don't feel the need to get all sympathetic. I just wish the rights to all my past and future works were worth enough to cover the mortgages on three New York City townhouses, whether I exercised that option or not...
    I just wish that all my past and future works were worth . . . anything.
    And what's so evil about getting sympathetic?

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: In case you're wondering why you've been seeing so much Annie Leibovitz lately

    Maybe she'll use some of that money to pay her rental bills and employees who are suing her...
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Re: In case you're wondering why you've been seeing so much Annie Leibovitz lately

    Heard more about this on the radio last night. Leibovitz inherited a lot of real estate from her partner, Susan Sontag (Jan 1933 – Dec 2004). Leibovitz is trying to keep up with the montages on those properties, not property she bought herself.

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    Re: In case you're wondering why you've been seeing so much Annie Leibovitz lately

    there was a blurb on t.v. the other night about celebrities who get loans using their jewelry as collateral, loans from private lenders, not banks.
    seems a bit similar to this but not as intense as using one's life work as collateral.

    i have always like her stuff but her early rolling stone stuff remains my fave.

    joe

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