It's a photographic tale of the aspirations of four women and their determination to achieve their goals, each one pursuing her own dreams and passions. This is "Dreaming", the 2019 Pirelli Calendar, now in its 46th edition, shot by Albert Watson in April in Miami and New York and unveiled on Wednesday at Pirelli HangarBicocca in Milan.
A sequence of 40 shots tells the stories of characters portrayed by Gigi Hadid with Alexander Wang, Julia Garner, Misty Copeland with Calvin Royal III, and Laetitia Casta with Sergei Polunin. The photographs, in color and black and white, are in the cinematic 16:9 format, inspired by Albert Watson's passion for the art of film.
"When I approached this project," says 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. I wanted to create something that was more than just a portrait of somebody – I wanted it to look like a film still. I wanted people looking at the calendar to see that my aim was photography in its purest form, exploring the women I was photographing and creating a situation that would convey a positive vision of women today."
Telling the story of how he came to make the calendar, the photographer talks of his own dreams, and of the efforts and sacrifices that they entailed.
"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."
He said that each of the four women focuses on the future and "has her own individuality, her own particular purpose in life, and her own way of doing things. So the underlying theme is that of 'dreams', but the basic idea behind the whole project is that of telling a story in four 'little movies'."