life

Fifty years
in one photo

The story behind Peter Lindbergh's iconic photo for the 50th anniversary of the Pirelli Calendar

Home life Fifty years
in one photo
Fifty years
in one photo

In photography, the word "project" can have a meaning of architectural scope. If Peter Lindbergh is also involved, then the construction of an image in harmony with its natural surroundings is the hallmark of style. Pirelli's invitation to the grand master of photography, Peter Lindbergh, to be part of the celebrations for the Calendar's 50th anniversary unfolded in exactly this way. On that occasion in 2014, two photographers who had already worked with “The Cal™” were involved: Peter Lindbergh, who photographed the calendar in 1996 and 2002; and Patrick Demarchelier who worked on the 2005 and 2008 editions. As always, both artists were free to express their own ideas and present their own interpretations of an iconic and emblematic image of the journey, with a very special cast at their disposal: top models Alessandra Ambrosio, Helena Christiansen, Isabeli Fontana, Miranda Kerr, Karolina Kurkova and Alek Wek. Demarchelier chose to work from his New York studio, where he picked out one of his legendary backdrops made of used and painted canvases; Peter Lindbergh preferred to shoot in the open air. He flew the cast to an Atlantic beach near New York to produce a series of photos bearing all the signs of his trademark technique. This was how the iconic shot that plays with light and contrasts came to be. The giant spotlights he planted in the sand, the dark sea bottom, the reflectors, and the search for simplicity and, in a game of shadows and undertones, an optical white to contrast with the total black of the bodysuits and the tops worn by the models. The result was a shot that summed up his photographic skill and which went on display in Milan's Royal Palace in the Forma e Desiderio. The Cal™ – Pirelli Collection exhibition. It was also shown in the House of Photography, Moscow, and in The Cal™: Pirelli Icons, staged at Skylight at Moynihan Station during New York 2015 fashion week. It was the kind of photo that captures a very special idea of beauty through an intricate combination of endeavour, professional skill and art.  

Fifty years in one photo
Read more
Related Stories
Product info
Pirelli cutting edge technology at its best
DISCOVER WINTER SOTTOZERO3
Find
Select the product that fits for you
Find the best Tyre for your car
life