Photography / Fashion

EXCLUSIVE: Pirelli’s 2019 calendar is a love letter to cinema

HUNGER gets a first look at the calendar shot by iconic image-maker Albert Watson.

“I was actually asked to do it [a Pirelli calendar] 25 years ago and I turned it down,” explains the legendary photographer Albert Watson. “They had a specific idea.” Fast forward a quarter-century and the Scottish image-maker – whose shot the likes of Alfred Hitchcock and Steve Jobs to beauty shots of Kate Moss – is finally working his magic for the 2019 Pirelli Calendar, now in its forty-sixth edition.

Themed around the idea of  “dreaming”, the calendar this year features a sequence of forty shots and tells the stories of characters portrayed by Gigi Hadid with Alexander Wang, Julia Garner, Misty Copeland with Calvin Royal III and Laetitia Casta with Sergei Polunin.

The photographs, in colour and black and white, are in the cinematic 16:9 format, inspired by Albert Watson’s passion for the art of film.

Speaking to HUNGER in Milan, Watson said. “The idea was that it was to be cinematic. I saw it that maybe I was a stills photographer on four short movies. Beyond that, I needed a storyline of four women. The initial idea was around sisters in a ranch in New Mexico. And how they interacted with each other, then it developed into four women who didn’t connect at all, which then moved from New Mexico to Miami. But overall cinema was the driving force here built on portraiture.”


Watson said that each of the four women focuses on the future and “has her own individuality, her own particular purpose in life, and her own way of doing things. So the underlying theme is that of ‘dreams’, but the basic idea behind the whole project is that of telling a story in four ‘little movies’.

An example of this is the character played by Gigi Hadid, he explained. She has recently separated from her partner, lives alone in a glass tower and has Alexander Wang as her only friend and confidant: “I think there’s a degree of angst in these images. With Gigi Hadid’s character, I wanted to convey the sense of a woman thinking about her future, but also showing her in a situation of loneliness. We see her thinking about where she is going to go in life, what she will be doing tomorrow. I wanted it to be much more minimalistic than the other women and settings I photographed.”

Check out the full Pirelli 2019 calendar shot by Albert Watson in our gallery below…

5 December 2018

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