By Chris Thomas for Mi.lk
Sorry James Brown, but it’s no longer a man’s world. As feminism crops up as the cultural norm and driving force in art and culture, a few standout projects have emerged. Much in the same way that Beyonce’s “Flawless” is a feminist power anthem, it is famed photographer Annie Leibovitz’s 1999 portrait series Women that has become the feminist touchstone of the art world—and it’s about to make a comeback. The project was originally created as a collab with writer and filmmaker Susan Sontag back when female musicians like Britney Spears and the Spice Girls fought back against female objectification in songs like “Smack My Bitch Up” and“Baby Got Back”.
“It is famed photographer Annie Leibovitz’s 1999 portrait series Women that has become the feminist touchstone of the art world—and it’s about to make a comeback.”
Nearly two decades later, the series is returning with a 2016 debut of new portraits reflecting the changing landscape of feminism and women’s rights in America. Looking back on the original project, the striking portraiture celebrated victories and showcased hardships facing women as the decade came to a close and showcased Leibovitz’s talent for photographing women throughout her illustrious career.
Commissioned by Swiss bank UBS, the continuation of her original series will keep the Women moniker and be free to the public as it travels the world over the course of the year. The gallery tour will start in January in London before moving through Tokyo, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Singapore, Mexico City, Istanbul, Frankfurt, New York, and Zurich. While the Milk office theorizes on who will be chosen for the series (Amandla Stenberg? Willow Smith? Elizabeth Warren?), take a look back at some of the most iconic women photographed by Leibovitz in the past and remember: it’s girls who run the world.
February 8, 2016