The tween client base is seen as crucial in a climate where sales to teenagers and adults have dropped by When Lucian Freud paints girl children, nobody cares; when Leibovitz photographs them, everyone goes ballistic. You want them to enjoy themselves, but you have to ask: When Botticelli paints the yet-to-be-enjoyed goddess of love emerging from the sea, people come from all over the world to gape at her. It's not a new thing. The story of Lennon's last photoshoot undoes some of the mystique of how Leibovitz gets her subjects to disport themselves in daft, degrading, mildly titillating or otherwise compelling poses:
They are intimate, convincing and unflashy, everything her more recent celebrity work has not been.
'We like our Venuses young'
If she's lucky enough to get to be a big sister she might get over this sleazy conditioning, but very few daughters these days get to grow out of being "daddy's girl". The Greeks and Romans liked their goddesses meaty; our preferred Venuses are children. We took one Polaroid," said Leibovitz, "and the three of us knew it was profound right away. Lennon obligingly began to strip, but Ono refused to take off her trousers. What Leibovitz often does is capture a striking image that flatters the sitter into thinking it discloses something profound, when it doesn't. Because she gives her subjects what they want and the rest of us, well, we get what we are given and some of us like it.