I treated myself to the Annie Leibovitz exhibit yesterday. I say treated because I am here in DC, the land of the free museum.
But I really wanted to go, and 14 dollars later, there I was, climbing the stairs to the exhibit. Passing on the first floor, the marble statie surround in rainbow lights as music pulsed in the background. I still really, really, don’t get modern art.
But her photography, i’ve always enjoyed. A brief glimpse in a magazine was always enough to make me turn back to the page and linger a while longer.
Once in the exhibit, I paused to drink in every picture. For the first time in my life, I understood what people mean when they say art speaks to them. She spoke to me and mu whole body answered.
I can not tell you exactly what it was. It made me laugh when they quoted her as not considering herself a portrait artist, as Brad pitt sprawled on his bed, johnny depp nuzzled kate moss or the elderly lady smiled the slightest smile, looking out at me across tye span of years. Or her appreciation of the female form, sprawled lazily across an armchair, untouched, unchanged in her nakedness, as so few women are today. Or her recognition of the body, of sex appeal, musculature and the diversity of the human form. Or the fact that the pictures of her lover were taken with an artists eye, in such a way that it brings you into their connection, into their love.
It made me ache to get my camera, the real one I keep putting off because of expense. It made me want to create and let me dream of one day having a fraction of her talent. It made me mourn that I had not seen her work earlier, that I have spent three decades partially blind in a vivid world. It made me feel alive, to drink in the photos and exalt in finally being able to see.