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Creative powerhouse Bryan Adams takes on the 48th Pirelli Calendar

The Canadian musician and photographer joins a list of greats from Avedon to Leibovitz to mark the return of one of fashion’s highest-profile assignments

Home life Creative powerhouse Bryan Adams takes on the 48th Pirelli Calendar
Creative powerhouse Bryan Adams takes on the 48th Pirelli Calendar

Bryan Adams, the Canadian artist who since the late 1990s has combined a rock career with a passion for photography, taking portraits of musicians, actors and models to great acclaim, will shoot the 2022 Pirelli Calendar.

The musician and photographer broke the news via his social media channels, stating “proud to finally reveal that I am the photographer for the 2022 Pirelli Calendar”.

At this stage, the cast and concept for the Calendar, as well as the location for the shoot, remain a closely guarded secret. The 2022 Calendar will be the 48th edition, following the launch of the original ‘Cal’ in 1964.

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Creative range

Adams’ portraits have graced the pages of top publications such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ and Harper's Bazaar, as well as his own celebrated art magazine Zoo. Past sitters have included Sir Mick Jagger, John Boyega, Amy Winehouse, Naomi Campbell and many others including politicians, statesmen and even the Queen, whom he photographed for her Golden Jubilee in 2002.

Adams has also published a number of books of his work, including American Women (2004), Exposed (2012), a project on injured British war veterans entitled, Wounded: The Legacy of War (2014), and Homeless, released in 2019.

On the other side of the creative coin, his music over the past four decades has achieved number one status in over 40 countries. He has three Academy Award and five Golden Globe nominations and a Grammy Award, and will release his 15th album in 2021.

Creative powerhouse Bryan Adams takes on the 48th Pirelli Calendar 01

Behind the lens

Since the Calendar’s launch, Pirelli has tapped some of the world’s leading photographers and creatives to shoot its pages. Adams joins the ranks of Norman Parkinson, Terence Donovan, Helmut Newton, Peter Beard and Richard Avedon, among other legends.

Adams will be the first Canadian photographer to shoot a Pirelli Calendar. However, he will not be the first musician to take part. Bono, Jennifer Lopez, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Lil Yachty, Yoko Ono and Patti Smith are among the performers to have appeared in front of the camera in previous Calendars.

The announcement that Adams will be the latest photographer to collaborate with the Italian brand on this prestigious project marks the welcome return of the Calendar, which was suspended last year in light of the Covid emergency. This was not the first time the Calendar had been halted. Prior to 2021, the Cal was put on hold in 1967 and then again from 1975 to 1983 for austerity reasons.

A cultural shift

It was Italian photographer Paolo Roversi who shot the most recent Calendar in 2020. Combining photography and film for the first time, that year’s Cal was inspired by Shakespeare’s love story Romeo and Juliet and shot partly in Verona. It featured a series of would-be Juliets, played by actors and models including Claire Foy, Emma Watson, Kristen Stewart, Indya Moore and Mia Goth.

Previous recent calendars have innovated in other ways, including with the diversity of their casting. The 2018 Calendar shot by British photographer Tim Walker was inspired by Alice in Wonderland and featured an all-black cast made up of Lupita Nyong’o, Naomi Campbell, Djimon Hounsou, Whoopi Goldberg and RuPaul, among others.

Marking another cultural shift, the 2016 Calendar shot by American photographer Annie Leibovitz showcased a pantheon of women of all ages, chosen for their achievements in fields as diverse as art, music, sport, cinema and comedy. The sitters included Yoko Ono, Amy Schumer, Kathleen Kennedy, Serena Williams, Tavi Gevinson and Shirin Neshat.

While further details about the upcoming Calendar remain under wraps, the unveiling of the 2022 edition shot by creative powerhouse Adams promises to be one of the biggest photography events of the year.

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