Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Online Photographer: The Worst Photograph Ever Made:


One thing there has unfortunately never been a shortage of is bad photographs, and collectively they parade a grand variety of shortcomings: there is unremitting blandness; poor taste; lack of taste; utter ignorance of taste; dullness (oh, much, much dullness); ostentation; unintentional humor; imitation; dishonesty; misguided attempts at aestheticism, and a great panoply of technical mistakes and missteps; the list goes on and on. But for inspired badness, this recent "photograph" by Annie Leibovitz for the Lavazza calendar has it all: a pandering (unto capitulation) to empty style; excessive color which is nevertheless unattractive; an attractive model who is also unattractive (though she got legs! But what the hell is with that expression?); a really woeful idea (Romulus and Remus and their wolf-mother—oh, please) that nevertheless doesn't even work; heavyhanded overproduction; no trace of irony; a blatantly fake background that doesn't even try to match the studio-shot foreground; a baby butt, for that touch of smack-you-with-a-dead-fish cuteness; campy makeup, kitschy hair; and, to top it all off, a hilariously incongruous product placement like an embarrassing pimple.

1:36 PM