Annie Leibovitz’s photography intrigues me inexplicably. The Disney photographs in particular really caught my attention. Disney movies have such a nostalgic childhood connection that mostly everyone associates with. It’s that staple of youth that persists even to this day, and through which people create fun, happy bonds of intimacy and shared experience. Annie Leibovitz enhances this with her pop culture photography mixed with captured scenes from iconic films. The world knows the featured celebrities almost as well as the Disney films themselves. This is a testament to the role technology, media, and visuals play in our consciousness and to the emotional connection with these photographs. In the Disney photos, each celebrity is is in peak form and absolutely beautiful. I can only imagine what sorts of photoshop techniques were used to make these final prints. There is also a dream-like surrealism to each photo, a fantastical aura that bathes the celebrities in the Disney glory. As much as I scorn severe photoshop manipulation, I can appreciate this series for that exact reason. Because it is that perfection, that beauty, that fantasy and hope that defines Disney films. And that is sufficiently captured in Leibovitz’s pictures.
The mere iconic-ness of the subjects and contexts in Leibovitz’s photographs make extreme photographic manipulation acceptable and cherished. She is emphasizing the role of pop culture, in form of Disney movies and well-known celebrities, in our lives. I mean, what girl doesn’t want to be both Scarlett Johansson and Cinderella in search of her prince charming? And why not both at the same time? Thank you Annie Leibovitz.