The globally acclaimed Magnum photographer Steve McCurry unveiled the 2013 Pirelli calendar during an official event held November 27 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
All of the photographs were taken in the streets of Rio and its favelas. Together, they shed light on the history and evolution of the iconic city, documentary-style.
“I tried to portray Brazil, its landscape, its economy and its culture, along with the human element. This was the story I wanted to tell through my lens.”
“For me photography is an important expressive means to tell large and small stories of daily life,” explained Steve McCurry.
In another major shift with the past, all of the women (models, actresses and singers) featured in the 2013 edition of the Pirelli calendar 2013 are covered up, while previous editions were renowned for their artistic portrayals of female nudity.
“You can photograph nudes anywhere. But these models are clothed, and each of them has her own charity. They are purposeful and idealistic people. So I wanted to photograph them in a special place, and Rio was perfect for this,” confides Steve McCurry in an interview with Paul Theroux.
The 40th edition of the calendar includes 34 color photographs, including 23 portraits of actresses, singers and models, nine photographs depicting Rio de Janeiro’s everyday life, and two pictures of graffiti art and murals.
Adriana Lima, who was photographed while pregnant, is joined in the calendar by Elisa Sednaoui, Petra Nemcova, Isabeli Fontana, Sonia Braga, Liya Kebede and Karlie Kloss.
McCurry follows in the footsteps of photographers including Mario Sorrenti, Terry Richardson, Karl Lagerfeld and Bruce Weber in shooting the Pirelli Calendar.
All of McCurry’s subjects support charitable foundations, NGOs, and other humanitarian projects. Kloss, for example, promotes FEED with her Perfect 10 Cookies, and Kuhn is the founder of Twenty Four Suns, a company that supports artisans in Afghanistan. Nemcova auctioned off a trip to Brazil with tickets to the calendar’s Nov. 27 gala there and donated the proceeds to the Happy Hearts Fund.
A look at the first images from what McCurry has called the “calendar of the soul” — plus a behind-the-scenes look at how it was made — below.
Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.