In working with so many fantastic photographers as we have one comes to realize what’s really important is as much the picture-taker’s ability to capture our latex couture as to capture the inner essence of a model. Although more in the mainstream fashion world than the alternate couture one, famed photographer Peter Lindbergh, who died this week, captured all there was of clothes, the people who wore them, and even the times more than most of his contemporaries.
As much credited with shooting supermodels as shooting just anybody who was anybody, Lindbergh worked with Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss (supermodels both), Helen Mirren and Uma Thurman, as well as Salma Hayek Pinault. He even recently shot New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and worked on the Duchess of Sussex’s guest-edited edition of British Vogue. He made portraits also of Mick Jagger, Catherine Deneuve, Madonna, John Travolta, and John Malkovich, and one of his admitted favorites, Tina Turner. He photographed the Pirelli calendar twice, authored books, and directed movies as well.
Keeping to his “the first rule for beauty is truth,” ethos (which he infamously uttered during a CNN interview) Peter Lindbergh was an artist who would keep his photography free from re-touching.
Born in Leszno, Poland (in 1944) but growing up in Germany, Peter Lindbergh studied at the Berlin Academy of Fine Arts and the Krefeld College of Art, and ‘Free Painting’ at the College of Art in Krefeld. At the beginning of the 70’s he opened a studio in Dusseldorf then moved to Paris in 1978, working for Vogue there. He shot for the various Vogues; also Rolling Stone, The New Yorker and Allure in January 1990 shot a cover for British Vogue, featuring Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford.
It’s said this cover shot by Peter Lindbergh gave rise to the age of the supermodel.