Photography by Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair
His striking eyes pierce through the camera and gaze out intently at the viewer. The poster promoting Annie Leibovitz’s exhibition at the Art Science Museum in Singapore is staring down at each passenger taking the train at Dhoby Ghaut station. Is that a white scarf…no, wait, it is a swan around his neck. What is a swan doing around his neck?
Then, it hit me. The swan is draped around his neck so unnaturally that it could be dead. In which case, it is rather morbid and creepy, isn’t it? A handsome boy holding on dearly to a dead carcass, somewhere in the grass fields on an unknown land. Yet, at the same time, the swan looks to be gently embracing Leo, like a lover putting an arm around her beloved. After all, this picture was taken in 1997 – the year of Titantic, the movie, which catapulted Leo into international stardom and onto the bedroom walls of countless girls around the globe who wish they could be that swan.
Dead or alive, you take your own pick.