More Demi Moore

Very nude and very pregnant, Demi Moore appeared on Vanity Fair’s August 1991 cover. The photo of the 28-year old actress holding her belly with one hand and covering her breasts with the other was deemed too risque for the public eye. The magazine was either dressed in a white envelope with the words, “More Demi Moore,” with only her eyes visible above the envelope or wrapped in a brown envelope — that now-almost-forgotten stigma of racy magazines.

The cover was shot by Annie Leibovitz, who envisioned an “Anti-Hollywood, anti-glitz” return after a decade of power-suits. Vanity Fair’s then editor Tina Brown loved the cover, and so did the board of Conde Nast, Vanity Fair’s parent company. Risking a potential loss of up to 40,000 sales, the magazine decided to go ahead with the publication.

The cover was controversial, culturally significant and empowering. Yet, nearly two decades on, pregnant celebrities posing nude have already become a trite cliche. This week, Vogue magazine with Claudia Schiffer in a similar pose will go on sale, joining other celebrity copycats such as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Monica Bellucci and Cindy Crawford. Annie Leibowitz herself would pose pregnant and naked. It inspired direct parodies too: from Banksy, from Spy magazine replaced Moore’s then-husband Bruce Willis’ head on her body and from the film Naked Gun 33⅓ used the photo on its poster, which led to a court-case.

Dali, Cage and Rhinos

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In 1956, Salvador Dalí created a sculpture entitled Rinoceronte vestido con puntillas (Rhinoceros dressed in lace). He was inspired by a woodcut created by Albrecht Dürer in 1515, popularly known as Dürer’s Rhinoceros. Starting in the 50s, Dali painted several of his subjects as composed of rhinoceros horns. According to Dalí, the rhinoceros horn signifies divine geometry because it grows in a logarithmic spiral. He also linked the rhinoceros to themes of chastity and to the Virgin Mary: “The rhino horn is indeed the legendary unicorn horn, symbol of chastity. The young lady may choose to lie on it or to morally play with it; as it was usual in courtesan love epochs”.

As an homage to Vermeer, he painted a study of The Lacemaker composed entirely of exploding rhinoceros horns. This piece, Paranoiac-Critical Study of Vermeer’s Lacemaker was painted at the Paris Zoo. In 1958, his tribute to the 300th anniversary of the death of Velasquez, the Infanta Margarita, also included rhinoceros horns, which converge to define the head of the Infanta. In the above 1952 photo, Dali–equipped with his only horn–pays a homage of a rhinoceros.

The photo was taken by Phillippe Halsman, who met Dalí in 1941 and started collaborating with him in the late 1940s. Their 1948 work Dali Atomicus explores the idea of suspension. Halsman and Dali eventually released a compendium of their collaborations in the 1954 book Dali’s Mustache, which features 36 different views of the artist’s distinctive mustache. The photo was homaged by Annie Leibovitz in 1996 photoshoot with Nicolas Cage.

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Disney Dream Portrait Series

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In 2008, Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida commissioned Annie Leibovitz to create images featuring international celebrities in fairy tale settings.

See the entire series here. High-Resolution Images:

Beauty and the Beast: “Where a moment of beauty lasts forever“, featuring Jeff Bridges as The Beast/Prince and Penelope Cruz as Belle.

Snow White: “Where Magic Speaks, even when you are not the fairest them of all“, featuring Olivia Wilde as the Evil Queen and Alec Baldwin as the Magic Mirror.

Cinderella: “Where every Cinderella story comes true”, featuring Scarlett Johansson as Cinderella. She is wearing a unique Harry Winston tiara in platinum and over 62k diamonds ($325,000) and a Nicoletta Santoro custom made fairytale inspired gown.

Little Mermaid: “Fantasea” featuring Julianne Moore as Ariel the Little Mermaid and Swimmer Michael Phelps as a merman.

Little Mermaid: “Where memories take hold and never let go” featuring Queen Latifah as Ursula.

Aladdin: “Where a Whole New World Awaits”, featuring Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony as Jasmine and Alladin; “Where Your Wish is My Command“, featuring Whoopi Goldberg as the Genie.

Peter Pan: “Where You Never Have to Grow Up”, featuring Gisele Bundchen as Wendy Darling, dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov as Peter Pan and Tina Fey as Tinker Bell

Pocahontas: “Where Dreams Run Free”, featuring Jessica Biel as Pocahontas

Alice in the Wonderland: “Where Wonderland is your destiny”, featuring Beyoncé as Alice, Oliver Platt as the Mad Hatter and Lyle Lovett as the March Hare in a teacup.

Sleeping Beauty: “Where imagination saves the day” featuring David Beckham as Prince Phillip

Snow White: “Where You Are the Fairest of Them All“, featuring Rachel Weisz as Snow White.

Disney Fairies: “Where Magic Begins“, featuring Julie Andrews as the Blue Fairy from “Pinocchio” and Abigail Braslin as Fira.

Sword in the Stone: “Where You Are Always the King of the Court”, featuring Tennis Ace Roger Federer as King Arthur.

Queen Elizabeth by Annie Leibowitz

BRITAIN PHOTOGRAPHY

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Famous celebrity photographer Annie Leibowitz took the official portraits of Queen Elizabeth II in March 2007. One of the photos, shown below, shows a very serene Queen sitting in the White Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace dressed in a pale gold evening dress, fur stole, and diamond tiara. Inspired by the portrait of Queen Charlotte that hangs in the National Gallery, the wide shot captures the Queen gazing towards a large open window and reveals some of the room’s furnishings and a reflection of a chandelier in a mirror. The room is dark except for the soft light flooding through the open window.

The photo-shoot was going smoothly until Leibowitz asked the Queen to take off her tiara (crown) to look “less dressy” for the next photo. The Queen flew into a huff and replied: “Less dressy? What do you think this is?” Contrary to some press accounts, Queen Elizabeth did not storm out of her session with Leibovitz; she more or less stormed in, brisk and impatient–the queen never enjoyed being photographed in her robes of state.

One of the most famous Leibowitz photos with Her Majesty in a huge cape against a wintry landscape, looks rather like the ultimate American Express ad or as some critics call it, vampiric. As it happens, it was a composite image: trees in the picture were shot on a Tuesday. The Queen, disinclined to go outdoors, was shot the next day.

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