A Search for Truth
Peter Lindbergh turned 70 this past November, but the renowned fashion photographer continues to be so prolific that his latest monograph endeavors only to catch up with him, surveying his portraits of women, and a few men, taken since 2005. “The last ten years have brought a lot more experience dealing with people in front of the camera,” reflects Lindbergh. “But also more guts to experiment with a more defined idea of what I want to achieve.”
Images of Women II: 2005-2014 (Schirmer/Mosel), a sequel to the 1997 volume, includes 161 of what he considers to be his best works from this time period. The book is prefaced with texts from art historian Werner Spies, director Wim Wenders, and Austrian writer Peter Handke in which each consider the existential “truthfulness” inherent in Lindbergh’s imagery.
While Lindbergh built his reputation by helping to define the supermodel era of the ’90s, the past decade of his work has celebrated the natural, elegant beauty of actresses such as Kate Winslet, Jessica Chastain, and Tilda Swinton, as well as seen a new generation of models such as Karen Elson, Arizona Muse, and Cara Delevingne come into their own. As a whole, Women II alludes to a larger truth—one that Lindbergh believes can impact our world beyond the pages of a magazine. “If photographers are responsible for creating or reflecting an image of women in society,” he asserts, “then, I must say, there is only one way for the future, and this is to define women as strong and independent. This should be the responsibility of photographers today: to free women, and finally everyone, from the terror of youth and perfection.”