Kanye West has expensive tastes and exacting standards—”picky” doesn’t even come close to touching it—so it wasn’t surprising that in the lead-up to his wedding to Kim Kardashian, he revealed himself to be a groomzilla. The nuptials featured a dress by Ricardo Tisci, decorations by “Runaway” video director Vanessa Beecroft, and music by Andrea Bocelli and Lana Del Rey. One thing he couldn’t pull off, though: Having celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz shoot the extravaganza.
While speaking to press in France Tuesday, Ye reportedly slammed Leibovitz (who shot the couple’s controversy-igniting Vogue cover) for backing out of the gig on short notice—leaving him to spend four days of their honeymoon setting up a faux nuptial photo that went on to become the most liked pic on Instagram ever. Today, West and Leibovitz released a joint statement in which he alleges that his comments were taken out of context. “Although Kanye expressed frustration that he was not able to collaborate with Annie Leibovitz at his recent wedding,” it reads in part, “he is not assigning blame, and is not accusing Annie in any way. Kanye and Annie’s representatives were in negotiations for weeks that were not completed by the time of the wedding.”
The statement goes on to quote a representative of Leibovitz who says, “Annie would have been happy to do the portrait but she was never confirmed.”
“Kanye West dreams big,” it continues. “He loves and respects Annie as a true artist and wanted to bring her eye for beauty to the imagery of the event.”
Hit the jump for the full text of the statement.
JOINT STATEMENT FROM KANYE WEST & ANNIE LEIBOVITZ
Kanye West’s comments about Annie Leibovitz while speaking at the 2014 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival have been taken out of context and sensationalized.
Although Kanye expressed frustration that he was not able to collaborate with Annie Leibovitz at his recent wedding, he is not assigning blame, and is not accusing Annie in any way. Kanye and Annie’s representatives were in negotiations for weeks that were not completed by the time of the wedding.
“Annie would have been happy to do the portrait but she was never confirmed,” said a representative for Leibovitz.
It was Kanye’s dream to bring together for the wedding his favorite creatives—Ricardo Tisci on the dress, Vanessa Beecroft on the experience, and Andrea Bocelli—Kim’s favorite singer—singing Kim’s favorite song as she walked down the aisle. The first choice to capture one of the most special days in Kim and Kanye’s life: Annie Leibovitz.
Annie Leibovitz, the legendary photographer responsible for Kim and Kanye’s recent Vogue cover, is not known to shoot weddings. But Kanye West dreams big. He loves and respects Annie as a true artist and wanted to bring her eye for beauty to the imagery of the event. In his Cannes Lions panel with Steve Stoute and tech guru godfather Ben Horowitz, Kanye was referencing Annie as an example of how to merge culture and tech.
“Picture this,” said Kanye. “The most-liked Instagram photo of all time, shot by Annie Leibowitz. Oh, I’m sorry for dreaming out loud. Again.”