September 20, 2023

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The 2023 Pirelli calendar pays tribute to the muses of photographer Emma Summerton

Like every year since 1964, the Pirelli 2023 calendar has already been presented. This year, the photographer chosen to capture the images for the advertising calendar is Emma Summerton, who dedicates it to the women who have guided her on her way.

Under the title Love letter to the muse , the Australian photographer, based in London, pays tribute in 28 snapshots to the women who in her search for inspiration have guided her on her path and in her decisions as an artist and as a person. Summerton is the fifth woman to sign the Pirelli 2023 calendar. And to capture her protagonists, she has only had models, diverting the focus that in other seasons and other photographers had chosen athletes, actresses, musicians, activists and comedians as main characters.

For the calendar I wanted to return to the etymological root of the word muse. Originally, the muse represented the artist himself in search of inspiration”, explained Emma Summerton, stating that “I am fascinated by women who do extraordinary and creative things, women who have inspired me throughout my career and my life, starting with my mother; people from whom I have learned a lot: writers, photographers, poets, actresses and directors. So my idea was to pay tribute to these extraordinary women and create a world in which to represent them.

The Pirelli 2023 calendar brings together 14 models that the photographer has portrayed with the dreamlike style that distinguishes her work. The choice of these women is not the result of chance; each of them has some affinity for the muse she was meant to represent. “In my photos, the border between the role that the models represent and what they really are is not defined, and everything melts into a magical realism” , explains the Australian photographer.

To create the 2023 Pirelli calendar, the photographer was inspired above all by her portfolio, as well as by the vast number of artistic and thematic themes from which she has always drawn, such as surrealism and magical realism, beauty and wild nature, the love of flowers and wild branches and the power of the animal kingdom, together with the symbolism that each of them has in art, poetry, music and literature.

Model ila Moss , daughter of famed model 
Kate Moss , embodies the 
Seer , the young yet old soul as she melds with the earth as she imparts wisdom from her magical garden.

The dream world of the Pirelli 2023 calendar

This magical world can be seen in each of the images. For the staging, models and a cast of first-class assistants have been used exclusively, such as Amanda Harlech , British consultant and muse for years of John Galiano and Karl Lagerfeld . The design of the sets, all with atmospheres full of details, has been commissioned by Viki Rutsch. Eugene Souleiman is the stylist who has brought his own touch of magic with a display of wings, artful headpieces and voluminous hairstyles, and Hiromi Ueda has rounded off the make-up command.

The result of this combination of artists has been “magical”, according to those who have been present at the production carried out between June and July 2022 in London and New York.

Guinevere Van Seenus , one of the veterans of the 
Pirelli calendar , 
is the Photographer muse.

The main stars of this year’s calendar

Before starting to shoot with her camera, Emma always wonders who is the leading woman in her work, because women, and above all her humanity, is what really moves her. She in her mind had begun to imagine who each of these women could be, but a thread was missing that united them. The word “muse” seemed to him an appropriate link: his characters were going to be all models, but also muses, portrayed according to the way in which each of them presented themselves to the world, filtered through the prism of augmented reality. Of the photographer

The photographer’s muse was the starting point for Emma’s project. She chose Guinevere van Seenus for this role. Then came Sasha Pivovarova , the Painter , model and painter at the same time, who always seemed to the photographer to be a painting of herself.

Adwoa Aboah , plays the 
Queen whose composure and regal demeanor conceal inner struggles carried with the elegance of 
Nefertiti.

Little by little he was completing his Pirelli 2023 calendar with more muses

The rest came alone. The model, actress and musician Cara Delevingne became the Performer , the one who, despite everything, always emerges victorious from her fantastic inner world; Karlie Kloss , the techie who loves to teach programming in a futuristic virtual reality landscape; Bella Hadid, the Goblin, who only reveals about herself what she wants to be known about her.

Ashley Graham was an activist. Lauren Wasser , the athlete . Adut Akech , the Dreamhunter . Adwoa Aboah , the Queen . Lila Moss , the Seer . Emily Ratajkowski , the writer . Kaya Wilkins, music. Precious Lee , the Storyteller , and He-Cong , the Wise One . All of them come to life under Summerton’s lens.

Kaya Wilkins is the 
Musician whose lyrics are inspired by a raven, portrayed in a bohemian setting.

49 Pirelli calendars from 1964

The 2023 Pirelli Calendar is delivered in a large cream-coloured envelope delicately engraved with the image of a butterfly. It is packaging that lives up to what it hides inside: Love Letters to the Muse by Emma Summerton.

This publication is an advertising calendar for the British section of the Pirelli tire brand, characterized by the sensuality of its images, commonly of attractive women (actresses and models) in suggestive poses. It began to be published in 1964 and every year it has a different, well-known and prestigious photographer.

During the years 1974 to 1984 it ceased to be published due to the economic recession. It is as well known as it is exclusive; it is given away and cannot be bought anywhere; that is why it has become a mark of distinction for those chosen photographic models, as well as for the photographers who carry out the work.