How Could This Happen to Annie Leibovitz?

New York Magazine has published a long article on Annie Leibovitz which seems to clarify some of the details of Annie’s unfortunate difficulties over the past couple of years, as well as some more insight into the famed artist’s life. There have been many articles and blog posts published on Lebovitz’s woes, some of which have seemed accusatory or taken some other assumptive position. The New York Magazine article linked here seems to be a bit more fair, which is likely due in part to the fact that time has passed allowing information to be vetted a bit more. And of course, the sheer length of the article provides more opportunity for additional details.

People spoke of a fabled “contract for life” from Condé Nast, thought to bring her as much as $5 million annually.”

It’s not particularly rare for us to see celebrity-status artists experience financial difficulties, with blame going to the thought that financial management skills don’t often accompany artistic skills and talent. Whether or not that theory applies in the case of Annie Lebovitz is not clear, but it has been rumored that at least part of her investments were affected by the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme. If this is true, I think that some of the accusations or judgement of her bad money handling ought to be tempered a bit.

As it turns out, Annie Lebovitz is not the only high-profile photographer suffering financial difficulties. The celebrity photographer team of Markus Klinko and Indrani have apparently filed for bankrupcy. The Wall Street Journal has also posted a piece regarding the Klinko and Indrani Chapter 11 filing.

Attitudes towards this type of news varies, depending on one’s perception of the facts (or non-facts) as they’re published. I always assume that I don’t know all of the details and am better off not judging (or at least trying not to judge), but hope the best for them and those affected by such drastic financial problems. Those who have provided goods or services to the ones in trouble often suffer greatly from the losses as well. That can really hurt a small company or individual who is waiting for payment.

Posted on Saturday, August 22, 2009 in News • (0) Comments


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