Published for the first time in 1964, this month the Pirelli Calendar celebrated its 50th anniversary in Milan with a series of initiatives and a special evening event for guests, journalists and collectors from all over the world in Pirelli’s contemporary art venue, Hangar Bicocca. To commemorate the creativity Pirelli has endured for the past half century, they called upon consultant Francesca De Cherubini to curate a gallery celebrating iconic images from stemming from the calendar’s inception. Here, she walks us through the expose.
Life+Times: This exposition celebrates 50 years of the iconic Pirelli Calendar. You came up with this whole concept the temporary gallery to showcase half a decade of creativity. How did you choose the photographs that appear here?
Francesca De Cherubini: It was very difficult to make a choice to be honest simply because every single photograph is beautiful. Therefore, some of the pictures that you see here were chosen by the photographers themselves. They made a selection of many of the photographs you see. The others I chose from my heart.
L+T: In total, how many photographs comprise this gallery? Who are some of the photographers?
FDC: In total, there are 160 pictures. They span the entire 50 years and you can see everyone from Herb Ritts to Terry Richardson to Inez and Vinoodh. They are all photographers who worked to produce the Pirelli calendar throughout the years.
L+T: With this exposition, what did you want to achieve?
FDC: It was simply to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Pirelli Calendar so we actually wanted to pay tribute to all the great photographers who worked on the calendar. The list is legendary and quite remarkable at the same time.
L+T: When you think back on 50 years of this iconic calendar, what do you think of? What comes to mind?
FDC: You see, this calendar marked an era. An incredibly influential one. The fact that the Pirelli calendar grew greater is because each year we used the best and we never compromised talent. The pictures are telling you the story of 50 years of style, fashion, design, beauty, and women as well. It tells the history of women and how they’ve changed over the years.