The Deal, or Lack of Deal, With Annie Leibovitz

by Liz Colville

Someone has finally done an intense look at the great distance between Annie Leibovitz’s ubiquity as a photographer and her actual success. Leibovitz’s staff status at Vanity Fair — along with getting bought out of Art Capital, the company that loaned her $24 million several years ago, then sued her — is saving her from financial peril. But beyond Vanity Fair, her photographs aren’t really selling.

A gallery owner named Edwynn Houk who used to represent Leibovitz says the photographer has never really shown an interest in the art world, and she now has a reputation of being neglectful and noncommittal. Some people in the industry are also skeptical of her manipulated, special effects-y approach. Americans may be obsessed with celebrities, but how much are they willing to pay for pictures of them? “The value of a photograph derives from the artist doing something interesting and exciting and different,” Houk says, “not from the fame of its subject.” Indeed. [Via]

Photo by Robert Scoble via Wikipedia