Behind the Scenes with Jenny Shimizu and Richard Avedon: The Pirelli Calendar Story

Jenny Shimizu, Pirelli Calendar 1997, Women of the World by Richard Avedon

Giant Robot: Avedon?

Jenny Shimizu: “I worked with him. That’s who I did the Pirelli calendar with. He’s insane, and it was great because I’m kind of insane myself. So we ended up just going crazy the whole day and then I had to get hired the next day because we didn’t do any of the work we were supposed to do. We were playing like we were gorillas for the entire day…all he does is run around and act like a gorilla. Just genius. Mismatched shoes, just the mad scientist. I love that.”
-Jenny Shimizu interview by Eric Nakamura, Giant Robot:10

About: The Pirelli Calendar
The Pirelli Calendar is regarded as the world’s most prestigious calendar of women, featuring pictures generally considered glamour photography including artistic nudes of the most sought after women of our time. Appearance on the calendar has become a mark of distinction for those photographic models that are chosen, as well as for the photographers commissioned to produce the images used. To models, it is known as the top job to earn in one’s career. Two stunning images of Jenny Shimizu are featured in the 1997 edition, Women of the World, photographed by Richard Avedon.

About: Women of the World, Pirelli Calendar, 1997, Richard Avedon featuring Jenny Shimizu (Japan)
Women of the World is the title of this second Avedon Calendar, made in 1997 and launched in Venice at Palazzo Grassi. For this edition, the great American photographer was inspired by Pirelli’s presence as a multinational in a variety of countries all over the world: Brazil, China, United States, Japan, etc. He thus wanted to pay a tribute to all women, representing their country of origin. Each one is extraordinary in her own way, and in all of them Avedon found the inspiration by which to create 12 intimate portraits that celebrate the uniqueness, variety and beauty of women everywhere. Once the Calendar had been completed, he commented: “My job was to take pictures of the twelve most beautiful women of the planet. I am not only a lucky and spoiled man… I am also exhausted!”

About: The Exhibition: Pirelli Calendar 1964-1997
700 photographs, taken over 33 years of Pirelli history were featured in a travelling exhibition titled, “Pirelli Calendar 1964-1997.” Included in the exhibition were 400 calendar images that made the final cut, and 300 coveted behind the scenes and outtake photographs. The exhibition debuted in Venice and then travelled the world from Monte Carlo to Caracas.