Annie Leibovitz gets personal with inspiring Russia

Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:34pm EDT
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By Nastassia Astrasheuskaya

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Photographer Annie Leibovitz paid homage to Russia's rich cultural past on Tuesday when she opened a 200-piece exhibit spanning 15 years of her professional and private life.

Pictures of the births of the 62-year-old Leibovitz's three daughters were hung in Moscow's state Pushkin Museum next to her portraits of such famous personalities as Mick Jagger, Demi Moore and others for covers of Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair.

"Russia is definitely at a crossroads now. Coming to Moscow, it feels very young and very moving," Leibovitz told reporters as she guided them around her pieces.

Dressed all in black with her blonde hair tousled, Leibovitz said Russian literature and ballet had inspired her work.

"Russia is a great country for art and film and dance. It is where great art is born. I'm thinking of the Ballet Russes and everything that's ever meant something to me," she said.

Called "Annie Leibovitz. A photographer's life. 1990-2005," the collection captures the emotional period when Leibovitz found herself caught between the burgeoning lives of her young daughters and the deaths of her lover Susan Sontag and father.

But Leibovitz said she felt her exploration of deeply personal joy and tragedy spoke to the universal experience.

"I really felt the personal work is everyone's story, it's not just my story," she said.   Continued...

<p>U.S. photographer Annie Leibovitz poses for a picture during a media preview prior to the opening of her exhibition in Moscow October 11, 2011. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin</p>