Pirelli unveils its 2017 calendar shot by Peter Lindbergh

The 2017 Pirelli Calendar, created by one of the world’s top photographers, Peter Lindbergh, was presented in Paris recently. The 2017 edition, which follows on from the one by Annie Leibovitz in 2016, sees the German master become the only photographer to have been asked to produce the Pirelli Calendar for the third time. It was Peter who shot the Calendar of 1996 in the El Mirage desert in California, and the one of 2002 at the studios of Paramount Pictures in Los Angeles. In 2014, it was again Lindbergh, together with Patrick Demarchelier, who took the photographs to celebrate 50 years of the Calendar, which was first launched in 1964.
Taking into account some gaps in its publication, the Pirelli Calendar has now reached its forty-fourth edition.
The photographer explains the underlying theme of the 2017 Pirelli Calendar, “In a time when women are represented in the media and everywhere else, as ambassadors of perfection and youth, I thought it was important to remind everyone that there is a different beauty, more real and truthful and not manipulated by commercial or any other interests, a beauty which speaks about individuality, courage to be yourself and your own private sensibility…”.
Lindbergh has chosen the title “Emotional” in order to emphasise how the idea behind his photos was “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.”
In order to convey his idea of natural beauty and femininity, Lindbergh has portrayed 14 internationally renowned actresses. They are Jessica Chastain, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, Helen Mirren, Julianne Moore, Lupita Nyong’o, Charlotte Rampling, Lea Seydoux, Uma Thurman, Alicia Vikander, Kate Winslet, Robin Wright and Zhang Ziyi. He has also included Anastasia Ignatova, professor of Political Theory at MGIMO – Moscow State University of International Relations. These choices once again reveal Lindbergh’s love of the cinema which makes the Cité du Cinéma in Saint Denis, one of Europe’s most important film studios, the natural setting for the traditional gala dinner where the new calendar has been presented.
“My aim was to portray women in a different way”, says Lindbergh, “and I did it by calling in actresses who’ve played an important role in my life, getting as close as possible to them to take my photos. 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.”
The photos were taken between May and June of this year in five different locations: Berlin, Los Angeles, New York, London and the beach at Le Touquet in France. The result is a calendar consisting of 40 images – with portraits and environments – made not just in the studio, but also in a number of city corners and open-air sets. We thus see the streets, fast food joints and run-down hotels in downtown Los Angeles, along with Times Square in New York, the Sophiensaele theatre in Berlin, attic roofs in New York and London and the beach at Le Touquet.