Peter Lindbergh has always been interested in what is real – his pictures have an honesty to them, far from the airbrushed ideals of perfection still favoured by so many of his contemporaries. Perfection, and fashion’s ideology of youth, are all fallacy to Lindbergh – his work is instead based upon the idea that people are more interesting and possess greater depth than the glossy veneer we are so accustomed to seeing. With that approach, his work has come to define, and pioneer, a new kind of realism.
Now, together with Taschen, he is releasing a book of work made up of images he took for the 2017 Pirelli Calendar as the first photographer to grace its hallowed pages more than twice in its prestigious fifty year history. Handpicked from a selection of 37,000 photographs taken during the 2017 shoot, Shadows on the Wall – a homage to Plato’s allegory of uncovering reality – is 148-pages of truly engaging portraiture. And the talent isn’t bad either – of the fourteen Hollywood heavyweights shot, a mere eleven are Oscar winners.
More importantly though, the works epitomise Lindbergh’s ability to evoke personality. Women we have grown up with on screen are here portrayed as more than perfect, unblemished faces, they are individual personalities with the same experiences, anxieties and doubts as us all – and are all the more beautiful for it.
Peter Lindbergh: Shadows on the Wall is published by Taschen, and is out now