After Steven Meisel, who photographed the 2018 edition, and Albert Watson, who created the 2019 one with the #MeToo movement in mind, the 2020 edition of the iconic calendar is entrusted to the Italian Paolo Roversi.
The iconic calendar, which is known as The Cal, has been moving away from sexiness to storytelling for the past few years, and its 47th edition may well follow this course. In fact, Roversi’s intense sepia-toned images have forged a unique and highly recognizable style, suspending time with long exposures that allow for a dialogue between photographer and subject, and combining realism and illusion so to portray intangible but recognizable emotions, like mysticism and devotion, contemplation and ecstasy. He says: “For me, photography is not a simple reproduction of reality but a revelation, because when I take a photograph I feel I am touching another life and another world.” This vision, together with rumors that Roversi would have been checking out sites in Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet, fuelled the speculations of the Italian media concerning the theme of the 2020 Pirelli calendar, which could be the Shakespearian tragic love story.
Born in Ravenna, Roversi trained in Paris in the 1970s and is considered one of the most talented contemporary photographers and has worked on countless ad campaigns for brands ranging from Vera Wang to Giorgio Armani. He has also portrayed many famous women including Kate Moss, Annie Lennox, Natalia Vodianova, Björk, Tilda Swinton, and Rihanna.
Cover ph: Paolo Roversi (EPA/BERND/WUESTNECK/ ANSA)