Tuesday, September 08, 2009

How the hell does this happen?

Annie Liebovitz has created some of the most memorable images of my generation. There isn't a rock star, writer, celebrity or politician who she hasn't shot, and those she's missed wish she would return their calls.

I first saw her photographs in Rolling Stone back when that magazine (a pulpy newspaper in the beginning) actually wrote about music. Oh, and there was the off political piece by some guy named Hunter Thompson.

Since then, Ms. Liebovitz has been everywhere and shot everything in ways that her contemporary pop culture peers could only marvel at. How did she get John to pose naked against a fully-clother Yoko? What made her think of capturing Whoopi Goldberg in a tub full of milk, giving us this wonder negative space portrait?

How did she get such smart ladies to look so trampy?

Now we read that she might lose the rights to her thousands of images, some of them icons of her time. Like so many Americans, she's run up a debt she can't pay, only Annie's debt, like her photographs, is larger than life.
She owes some guys $24 million.

The Art Capital Group, a New York-based firm that loans money against collateral of fine art and property wants their money. Or her life's work.
A judge has given her until today to pay back the whole $24 million bucks.


In the small change department, she's also being sued by some Italian for $300 thousand.

How does this happen? How does a woman who changed the way famous people posed for portraits come up short $24 million dollars? WTF happened?

Just another example of artists being idiots about money.

On a completely unrelated note (or is it?) this is my 1000th post at the Planet. In a little over 3 1/2 years I've written about nothing more than what's caught my eye one thousand times. Damn. For those of you who have stuck with me, thank you. When I started I had no idea it would go this long. I've slowed down lately, because of the usual suspects, but I enjoy doing this so I'll continue. I hope you'll tag along.

Now get a life.


Anonymous said...

Hey Greenspan,

They way I hear it, she's kind of an ass when it comes to paying her bills on time, but the lion's share of the problem came about when her partner died (Susan Sonntag (sp?), wasn't it?) and she ran into a wall of shit when it came to dealing with the estate. It's a pretty interesting and sad story if you can track down the details.

Suffice it to say that being an ass about paying your bills on time ain't no big thang, but being gay and getting treated like everyone else (with legal rights and all) when your partner dies is going too far -- expecting too much -- in this country.

Now bash me for being anon. You know you wanna.

David Terrenoire said...

I'll take the hit on Greenspan. There's a reason Jenny balances our check book.

The rest of the story sounds like a worthwhile follow-up. Thanks. The story I had didn't say why, just what.

And your style is about as anonymous as BB King's.

Gerard Saylor said...

Who is the guy with paint on his dong?

Anonymous said...

That's Dave.

David Terrenoire said...


That's Keith Haring.

The frame on my painting would be, uh, smaller.

Scott Moore said...

"How did she get John to pose naked against a fully-clother Yoko?"

I heard the idea was to photograph them both naked (not a stretch for "2 Virgins"), but Yoko chickened out at the last minute. A. L. said she was pissed at the time, but now thinks it's one of her best images becuase of the contrast.

Judith said...

I am so glad you're still blogging, because I really like your writing and your take on life. Over here in rural NZ, where the most excitement I've had recently was one of my ewes having triplets instead of twins, I watch the news from the USA on Tv in wide-eyed open-mouthed wonder and think "those strange Americans!" The news we get tends to be one-sided, to say the least. Your blog, and some others, along with the fine folks of Rec.Arts.Mystery, provide balance and perspective. I'll be tagging along!

David Terrenoire said...

Thank you, Judith.

So often it feel like I'm sitting alone, drunk, muttering into the empty night.

To know that someone is tagging along is a real blessing. A mitzvah.

Not everyone in the USA is a nutjob, although I may be.

Thank you.