Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer Life (1990-2005)


I haven’t lived that many years, but this is by far the most heart-warming and provocative exhibition I’ve been to.

Stripped down to the core, Annie Leibovitz reassuringly takes us by our hands on a journey down her memory lane to appreciate some of the simplest interactions in her life. The exhibition showcases her 15-year journey as a photographer, both professionally or personally. Bold, raw and very personal, Leibovitz’s style of photography is distinct.b2ap3_thumbnail_2.pngSource: Marina Bay Sands


 The Exhibition


“I realized I couldn’t be a journalist because I like to take a side, to have an opinion and a point of view; I liked to step across the imaginary boundary of the objective view that the journalist is supposed to have and be involved.” – Annie Leibovitz

Leibovitz has worked with public figures and the most famous celebrities in the world. Expect exhibits featuring Leonardo Di Caprio, Jamie Foxx, Demi Moore, Scarlett Johansson, Nicole Kidman, Brad Pitt, and The Rolling Stones, just to name a few.

On top of the obligatory commercial shoots, there’s no mistaking – she loves to shoot her subjects at their most comfortable moments. Ripped couches, half-buttoned shirts, papers everywhere, the pictures are snapshots of behind-the-scenes lives of the life of celebrities. So personal, so real, so… Annie Leibovitz.

While I enjoyed Leibovitz’s glamorous works, it was the documentation of her personal life which had a strong impact on me.  Annie Leibovitz, unfortunately, experienced the loss of her loved ones one right after another. Sometimes, it is only in the process of overcoming the darkest moments of our lives that true potential is realised.b2ap3_thumbnail_3.jpgSource: Marina Bay Sands

Like the harsh realities of life, it’s torturous to be in the state of ultimate bliss and not appreciating it until disaster strikes. Then, it is far too late to rewind time and to simply be grateful for the moment.

The Annie Leibovitz gallery starts off in a cheery mood, with moments of bliss with the family caught on film. There are family celebrations, birth of new-borns, nostalgic family outings, subjects with gleaming smiles across their faces, and very descriptive quotes depicting the beaming personality of the protagonist, Susan Sontag, Leibovitz’s late companion.

The following exhibits revolve around the works of celebrities and landscape, before reality finally hits as we watch Annie’s slow and torturous photographic process of the loss of both her father and Susan. The cleverly-arranged chronological order of the photographs makes it cruel to watch, yet adds a dimension of realism to it.b2ap3_thumbnail_1.pngSource: Marina Bay Sands

Simplicity is the first impression I had upon entering the gallery. The design and layout of the gallery had an appeal on its own, the luxury of space and the amazing architecture of the Marina Bay ArtScience Museum made it a perfectly conducive venue to do nothing but appreciate.  




Art exhibitions have been redefined over the years to glamorous interactive digital media, and will continuously be redefined to appeal to the masses; the Annie Leibovitz exhibition is nothing extravagant. With white-washed walls and canvases hanging on the walls, it retains the soulful, calming essence of an art exhibition that claims to be nothing more. People visit museums, exhibitions, and galleries for many reasons – for knowledge, interest, or entertainment. Mine is for self-exploration.

A good exhibition to me would be one that brings me to a new dimension, where new-found principles challenge social norms. It is one where overwhelming thoughts engulf every living organism in you that has some form of mental capability, where you find enlightenment in comprehending some of the most bewildering encounters in your life.

Leibovitz’s exhibition is an one that you leave having a completely new perception of yourself and of your life. This is, I think, a sign that the exhibition is a good one. While I have neither met Annie Leibovitz in person, nor I haven’t seen any of her works prior to the exhibition, believe it or not, we already have a connection.  


Event Information


b2ap3_thumbnail_4.jpgSource: Marina Bay Sands

Event Name: Annie Leibovitz A Photographer’s Life 1990-2005
Venue: ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands
Date: Now till 19 October 2014
Operating Hours: 10:00 am – 7.00 pm (Last admission 6.00pm)
Ticket Prices: Adult S$14, Senior Citizen (65 yrs & above): S$13, Child (2-12 years): S$8