Annie Leibovitz Named IKEA’s Latest Artist in Residence

The Scandinavian furniture and housewares chain IKEA has named Annie Leibovitz its latest Artist in Residence with the goal of better representing how media presents the reality of life at home.

IKEA says that in its Home Report 2022, it found that 48% of people do not feel like the reality of their lives at home is authentically represented by what is seen in the media. To address this, the company is collaborating with Leibovitz, perhaps best known for her work with Vanity Fair, as she is a well-known photographer who also has been “celebrated” for her ability to “capture the inner life” of her subjects.

“The home has always been important in my work,” Leibovitz says. “I’ve been photographing people in their homes since I began. It’s a way to understand who a person is. The advice I give to young photographers is to photograph their families. It’s one of the best ways to start.”

Throughout 2023, Leibovitz will travel to Japan, the United States, Germany, Italy, India, Sweden, and England to photograph people in their homes and create a series of 25 portraits that are designed to show what a “real” home life looks like around the world.

“At its best, home acts like a mirror to our identities. In practice, this means that when we look around our home we see our unique personality reflected back,” IKEA says in its report. “A home that reflects our personality is good for us, too. When we feel our home reflects our identity, we’re 1.5 times more likely to feel more positive about it. But not everyone feels this way.”

In addition to the fact that Leibovitz is perhaps the world’s most well-known photographer, she actually has a history of tackling a project like this. In 2006, she published a book titled “A Photographer’s Life: 1990-2005” which contrasts photos she took on assignment with those of her personal family and friends.

“I don’t have two lives,” Leibovitz writes in the Introduction of the book. “This is one life, and the personal pictures and the assignment work are all part of it.”

IKEA doesn’t say when it expects Leibovitz to complete her series, but it will likely be shared by or before the next Home Report.

Image credits: Featured image by Robert Scoble, Creative Commons