Even Annie Is Feeling The Pinch

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Annie Leibovitz borrows $15.5 million from a company called Art Capital Group and used her negatives as collateral (among other things).

via NYTimes.com.

There Are 24 Comments On This Article.

  1. I find this interesting. However, it might have been very prudent financial move, if she did her total math of current loans at old percentage rates. If you borrow at the current low rates/percentages for a total lump sum, pay off everything, I suspect her monthly bill totals probably dropped dramatically. Knowing she will be able to pay off the total borrowed sum over a matter of years, it seems like a great strategy. Market returns to normal in ten years, she sells a property pays off a chunk etc.

    Sometimes it is not necessarily a matter of financial woes, but smart re working of your finances, and taking advantage of the current lower percentages. The collateral that is most valuable? Her negatives.

    Interesting…..

    • @Debra Frieden,

      I would agree with you completely, if it weren’t for a couple exceptions. First, the two law suits against her last year from her vendors concerning non payment, and second, if you scroll down that NY Times article, you’ll get to the part where it is stated that Annie pawned the negatives of her existing work…and the rights to FUTURE work. Yikes. Signing away rights to work you haven’t even gotten yet? That sounds to me like more than reworking finances.
      I also find the negatives as collateral quite interesting. Do you think her digital only images fetch less?

  2. If the economy keeps going in a downward direction, she will lose the farm because she ultimately needs work to pay the debt off. The pawn shop Art Capital seems like a last ditch effort since banks aren’t taking chances with small business or big. This suck for her -though she says she is doing fine.. i beg to differ. Where’s that global American Express job when you need it.

    • @bobscott, A prominent Atlanta gallery owner came and talked with the Atlanta Photography Group about the financial forecast with regards to photographic art buying/selling and current economic state for our particular art form. She shared a report from a University business school. They had recently released projections for the economy to start turning third quarter of this year. I think we are all ready for a turn for the better….I hope they are right.

  3. Thanks Rob. I thought I was alone. I’m putting the Titian up for sale to pay for loan I took out for the new digital Hassleblad… Please contact me if interested.

    • @matt,
      I couldn’t agree more. I thought it was just my copy of the magazine with its washed out colors and blown out whites in that Hollywood story! Do people really think this looks good? In my opinion, her work has really suffered since she began shooting digitally. There is no comparison to the richness you get with film. I think it’s time to get back to basics.

      • @vicki, it depends on the retouching. Some of her digital stuff looks great, but looks, well, like retouched digital. The show at the Brooklyn Museum in support of her last photo book really confirmed, for me anayway, that film is still king.

    • @Bruce DeBoer,

      You are absolutely correct. And even if we did know, it is none of our business.

        • scott Rex Ely

          @red, Id do. I wish the best for her. However, this is really fascinating. Think about it if she fails. Would that mean that the group she has signed her future licensing rights away to be her sales rep? Wouldn’t it be kinda of sticky going into a contract with basically a third party ultimately managing the usage? Wouldn’t she technically be doing work for hire for Art Capital and they would be able to negotiate for her without her input? Is that the business they are in? Isn’t this going to be a little compromising? Couldn’t a major advertiser come to Art Capital and say we want Annie knowing that she would probably have to take the job and be able to negotiate a lower price? Again I hope she stays on the positive side of this deal, but this is really fascinating.

          • @scott Rex Ely, yes, but it is her business and NOT ours. She is a smart person and we have better things to do than worry about the demise of a wonderful photographer. Frankly, I think some people want to see her suffer and that is really what people should be scared about.

            • scott Rex Ely

              @red, the declarative statements I made were about my hope for her prevailing. The rest were questions. I’m curious how the mechanics of the flip side of the deal could actually play out. My interest is related to the business aspects of this and not in lewd examples of Freudenschade.
              Someone at the NY Times thought it should be the public’s business, did they not? Big people big problems.

  4. It has been going on for years, so why do people acted surprised when she pays them late? How about this idea. Don’t do business with her. I know one rental house that refused do business with her because her demands were extreme. Sometimes the money isn’t worth the headache and frustration.

    • Donnar Party

      @The Photo Rebellion, Several labs and printers have fired her as a client. She has meetings with the managers running her jobs which end in screaming matches. There are too many well mannered clients out there to put up with AL.