Over the years, the Pirelli Calendar has become synonymous with two seemingly incongruous things: tires and nudity. Make that lots of nudity. But last year, thanks to Annie Leibovitz all of that changed. The renowned photographer ushered in a new way to celebrate a handful of her favorite famous ladies, focusing on women whose lives and works inspire her rather than putting the emphasis on their physiques alone. And this year, photographer Peter Lindbergh has chosen to follow suit, seeking to capture the inner depths of A-list actresses like Julianne Moore, Uma Thurman, Robin Wright, and Nicole Kidman.
This is the third time the German image-maker has been tapped to get behind the lens for the prestigious annual initiative. The 44th edition of the calendar is a collection of images Lindbergh has dubbed “Emotional” featuring an array of beauties of all ages, including Jessica Chastain, 39, Penélope Cruz, 42, Nicole Kidman, 49, Rooney Mara, 31, Helen Mirren, 71, Julianne Moore, 55, Lupita Nyong’o, 33, Charlotte Rampling, 70, Léa Seydoux, 31, Uma Thurman, 46, Alicia Vikander, 28, Kate Winslet, 41, Robin Wright, 50, and Zhang Ziyi, 37.
Interestingly enough, in addition to this bevy of all-star thespians, Lindbergh also chose to include Anastasia Ignatova, professor of Political Theory at MGIMO, the Moscow State University of International Relations.
The artist explained his vision for the shoot in a press release from the tire company, saying, “In a time when women are represented in the media and everywhere else, as ambassadors of perfection and youth, I thought it was important to remind everyone that there is a different beauty, more real and truthful and not manipulated by commercial or any other interests, a beauty which speaks about individuality, courage to be yourself and your own private sensibility.”
“My aim was to portray women in a different way,” he continues, “and I did it by calling in actresses who’ve played an important role in my life, getting as close as possible to them to take my photos. As an artist, I feel I’m responsible for freeing women from the idea of eternal youth and perfection. The ideal of perfect beauty promoted by society is something that simply can’t be attained.”
While we would argue that looking as flawless as this group of women isn’t exactly achievable without a very specific set of genetics and the help of a good personal trainer, nonetheless, we can still appreciate the sentiment.
What do you think of this year’s Pirelli Calendar? Which shot is your favorite? Sound off below!