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The 2024 Pirelli Calendar : Prince Gyasi : Timeless


The Cal, the iconic Pirelli Calendar celebrates 60 years, and the 2024 edition, entitled Timeless, bears the signature of Ghanaian visual artist Prince Gyasi. As the author says: “We are not born ‘timeless’, but we become timeless”. And, indeed, the months roll by, played by characters such as Angela Bassett and Naomi Campbell, as well as His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, in a phantasmagoria of vivid colours.

The title Timeless underlines the idea of being able to leave a timeless mark. Indeed, the photographer has immortalised people who, according to him, can leave a mark that will last and inspire future generations. “My subjects are like superheroes”, he says “All the people photographed have been able to recognise their abilities and establish themselves. They have found their power, changing their destinies. This is what it means to be timeless”.

Gyasi, who started not as a photographer, but as a painter, accurately plans each of his shots, composing images that are reminiscent of painting. He develops the idea for his set design and draws it before the renderings are created and the set is built.

The calendar becomes a story of what, in the artist’s eyes, makes people “timeless”: something and someone connected to perseverance and integrity. This is the case, for instance, with supermodel Naomi Campbell, who appears in the Calendar under the title “Time Stopper”. He says: “When you look at figures like Naomi, she’s not of my generation, but she’s still an icon in my generation. This can only happen if you’re committed to your work and beliefs”.

The same for Angela Bassett, who represents “Altruistic”, author Margot Lee Shetterly and poet Amanda Gorman, who are “The Blueprint” while contemporary Ghanaian artist Amoako Boafo is “The Chosen One”. The Calendar subjects include His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, King historic Asante Empire, West Africa, and his royal delegation, photographed at the Manhyia Palace under the title of “Royalty”.

Gyasi has also self-portrayed himself with the title “Details”, the image on the cover, and in “Studious” as a young Gyasi, represented by child model Abul Faid Yussif. Against a turquoise background, he is pictured playing with miniature versions of some of the items featured in the Calendar, such as a key held by Bassett or parts of a clock from Campbell’s set. “Man of Honour”, is the actor, director, DJ and producer Idris Elba, actress Tiwa Savage is “Resilience”, writer, director and producer Jeymes Samuel is “Visionary”, entrepreneur and former footballer, Marcel Desailly is “Focus”, while singer and actress Teyana Taylor is “Future Forward”.

“I want to tell a story – Gyasi says – that explores the power of how our achievements are experienced in the eyes of those we inspire. ( … ) This project is not about my journey or yours; it’s about theirs, my community, the youth. It’s about providing a chance for other kids like me, to see these images and to be inspired to become their own best selves”. The Ghanaian artist also put these ideas into a manifesto dedicated to “those who would be timeless”.

Gyasi chose London and his home country for his calendar, to showcase its culture and natural resources. “Ghana is a special land. It is the gateway to Africa where you can find everything: cocoa, gold, bauxite, oil… After Botswana, where the 2008 Pirelli Calendar was shot, it is beautiful to go to another African country, discover its culture and meet the people there”, he explains.

Key factors of Gyasi’s work are vivid colours and contrast, which he uses to emphasise the centrality of the characters, who have been able to transcend time boundaries and challenge societal conventions, developing their talents in an authentic way. These are subjects with a deep connection to his community and African traditions, people who have inspired him since his childhood.

The images present a kind of hyper-colourful reality, sometimes digitally enhanced, reflecting his experience of the world filtered through the neurological phenomenon of synesthesia (like an interplay between the senses), a phenomenon that leads him to match words and colours.


A 60-year history

The Pirelli Calendar, also known as “The Cal™”, was the brainchild of Pirelli UK Limited, the Group’s British subsidiary. In 1964, Derek Forsyth was appointed as art director and British photographer Robert Freeman, famous for his portraits of the Beatles, was commissioned to produce a truly innovative project.

The result was an exclusive product with artistic and cultural connotations that from the start set it apart from the world of fashion and glamour. Since then, “The Cal”™ has featured images by the most renowned photographers interpreting contemporary culture and new trends.

The 2024 Calendar by Gyasi is the 50th edition in the 60-year history of The Cal’s. Calendars have been produced by 39 photographers. Among them: Uwe Ommer, Joyce Tennyson, Herb Ritts, Richard Avedon, Annie Leibovitz, Mario Testino, Patrick Demarchelier, Steven Meisel.

Paola Sammartano


Timeless – The 2024 Pirelli Calendar by Prince Gyasi

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