Alice wonders Burton and Leibovitz
As artists continue to draw inspiration from childhood fears and fairy tales, it comes as no surprise that classic stories like Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (more commonly known as Alice in Wonderland) are being tapped. Coming up on the 2010 film lineup is Tim Burton’s much anticipated ALICE IN WONDERLAND with Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter (who else?), Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen, and Anne Hathaway as the White Queen. But Burton is hardly the first to put a unique spin on Carroll’s tale. With the first official photographs of WONDERLAND released last week, photographer-extraordinaire Annie Leibovitz’s editorial for Vogue US December 2003 have “resurfaced,” thanks to the efforts of bloggers everywhere.
Both Burton and Leibovitz employ their own particular brand of surrealism to expertly reveal the fantastic world in which Alice lived. While Wonderland certainly provides fertile ground for the imagination, it’s difficult to ignore how casting plays a pivotal role in each artists’ take. Burton utilizes Depp, a long-time friend and colleague, and Bonham Carter, his partner. Leibovitz’s muse is Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova in the titular role, as well as a colorful cast of renowned designers such as Tom Ford, John Gailiano, Marc Jacobs, and Karl Lagerfeld.
With odd timing, Burton and Leibovitz will have major exhibits opening this year. Running from November 2009 to April 2010, the MoMA will have a major career retrospective on Burton consisting of a gallery exhibition and a film series that will follow his work as a director, producer, writer, and concept artist for live-action and animated films, along with his work as a fiction writer, photographer and illustrator. Having made its debut in the Brooklyn Museum in 2007 and subsequently traveling to London, Berlin, and Paris, Annie Leibovitz : A Photographer’s Life makes its debut this month at PHotoEspaña, the International Festival of Photography and Visual Arts of Madrid, and contains over 200 images representing the artist’s intimate family life as well as her more well known photographs of world famous personalities.