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exhibition
Pirelli Calendar 2019. Albert Watson. Dreaming
29 November 2019 — 16 February 2020
  • Albert Watson. Dreaming. Pirelli 2019

Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art presents an exhibition showcasing the 46th edition of the legendary Pirelli Calendar realised by Albert Watson, one of the most celebrated photographers of the 21st century.

  • Creator of the famous black and white portraits of Alfred Hitchcock, Andy Warhol and Steve Jobs named one of the 20 most influential photographers of all time

  • A calendar with a 46-year record of capturing the trends and currents in contemporary culture and creating iconic images

  • Four photographic stories about the clash between dreams and reality and the steady progress towards the ultimate goal


First appearing in 1964 as a clever marketing tool and causing a real stir throughout the 1960s, the calendar quickly rose to a cult status of a visually sophisticated and culturally important publication. Today an offer to work for Pirelli is a sign of official international recognition for a photographer and a welcome opportunity for any superstar.

This exhibition features forty colour and black and white photographs in 16:9 format. The calendar shoot took place in April 2018, in Miami and New York. Participants included supermodel Gigi Hadid and the acclaimed American designer Alexander Wang; stars of the American Ballet Theater Misty Copeland and Calvin Royal III; top model and actress Laetitia Casta and the famous dancer Sergei Polunin; the promising young actress Julia Garner and Swedish model Astrid Eika.

‘When I approached this project,’ explains Watson, ‘I wanted to do it in a way that was different from other photographers, and I wondered what the best way would be. In the end, I looked for pictures that were of beautiful quality, with depth to them, and that had some kind of narrative. It was my intention to create a series of images that was more than just a portrait of somebody: I wanted them to look like film stills. I wanted people looking at the calendar to see that my aim was photography in its purest form, exploring the inner world of the characters I was photographing and creating a situation that would convey a positive vision of women today.’

According to Albert Watson, ‘The Power of Dreams’ exhibition is more a cinematic than a photographic project. It consists of four series of photographs, four ‘mini-films’ that tell the stories of four women. Each heroine has her own narrative, her own idea of happiness and her own ways to achieve her cherished dream.

Gigi Hadid plays the role of a woman who has recently separated from her beloved and confined herself to a glass tower of loneliness. Julia Garner impersonates a young botanical photographer who dreams of putting on successful exhibitions. Misty Copeland’s character, whose partner is portrayed by Calvin Royal III, hopes to be a prima ballerina one day, although she earns her living as a nightclub dancer. Laetitia Casta plays the part of a painter who lives in a studio apartment with her partner, acted by Sergei Polunin.

‘To make a dream come true, you have to work hard. I’ve always taken it step by step, reaching one goal at a time, without wanting to get immediately to the top of the ladder. Even though I sometimes think this ladder could go on up forever, with the top rung ever-further away, I think it’s always worth giving yourself increasingly ambitious goals and dreams,’ says the photographer.

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