Peter Lindbergh in his last interview with Vogue Germany


You often say that it is the job of photographers to free women. What must we be freed from today?

“Women must be freed from the idea that they always have to stay young and that they must disfigure themselves at a certain age. That’s how all traces of life disappear. After all, you gather, in a sense, what you’ve lived through in your face and body. If you have a nose that [you think] does not suit you and you spend your whole life thinking ‘I am so ugly’ and you then do something about it and are pleased that the nose is now sharper, and feels more like how you’ve always wanted to look: wonderful. Nobody should take that away from you. But these youth complexes are so nonsensical.” 

How does it feel to know that right now, you are influential? 

“That feels really good [laughs]. I have to say, honestly, I wanted to lie just now, but it makes you happy, that you have clearly been relevant.” 

Do you think that being influential is still possible today? 

“Of course. It’s always possible. Today is no different than the day before yesterday. It’s always the same thing, presented in a different way. Some think that it was so much easier in the past. It has never been easier. It is not difficult today. It’s just the way it is.”

How do you connect with yourself?

“I have been meditating for 40 years. It makes it a bit easier to know who you are. You just have to find a way to access all the things that you have seen. Everything you see, everything you hear and smell, and everything you say, remains within. It’s there, in you, and you have to use it. Most people don’t know that. They carry the biggest treasure in the world with them.” 

Is there anything that you are afraid of?

“No, not anymore. Not in a long time. I have extreme ‘no fear’ [laughs]. What kind of language is that? I mean: extreme lack of fear.”

How do you deal with negative feelings?

“I’m indestructible. There are so many things about me that make me indestructible.”

Maybe that plays a part in you not being afraid, no negative feelings? 

“I do not have negative feelings. But that’s great, I think, when you know you’re invulnerable. I can’t think of what anyone could do to me that would send me reeling. There are people who have a little skin cancer on their big toe and jump out the window. The only thing would be if something terrible were to happen to my children. That could completely floor me. But nothing else.”