EXCLUSIVE

Brigitte Lacombe’s Never-Before-Seen Portraits of Joan Didion, Glenn Close, and Tilda Swinton’s Son

LACOMBE_NYTT 19051_final book layout-JoanDidion.jpg
Brigitte Lacombe

There’s a good chance you haven’t heard the name Honor Swinton Byrne, even though she’s Tilda Swinton’s daughter. And even if you have—she made her acting debut earlier this year in the film The Souvenir—there’s still next to no chance you’ve heard of Xavier Swinton Byrne, her twin brother, who’s virtually nonexistent on the internet. The fact that the camera-shy 21-year old appears alongside dozens of celebrities in Brigitte Lacombe’s upcoming book is a true testament to the French photographer’s ability to put her subjects at ease. (Meryl Streep has said that Lacombe is the only photographer who doesn’t make her “feel like a performing elephant.”) Forward: Twenty Years of TimesTalks is comprised mostly of public figures who have participated in the New York Times‘s live conversation and performance series over the course of its now two decade-long run. And yet, in Lacombe’s black-and-white portraits, which she took at her studio on the Lower East Side between 2017 and 2019, they don’t come across as celebrities. The words “natural” and “intimate” have long been overused in describing photography, but as she’s proven for more than four decades now, Lacombe’s work is the real deal. Take an exclusive look inside the book— with portraits of everyone from actors Glenn Close and Meryl Streep to Times staffers Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor, the investigative reporters behind the monumental 2017 exposé of Harvey Weinstein—here.

1
Brigitte Lacombe

Joan Didion (author) photographed by Brigitte Lacombe. Featured in Forward: Twenty Years of TimesTalks, a new book of Lacombe’s black-and-white portraits for the New York Times, 2017-2019.

2
Brigitte Lacombe

Thelma Golden (director and chief curator, Studio Museum in Harlem) photographed by Brigitte Lacombe. Featured in Forward: Twenty Years of TimesTalks, a new book of Lacombe’s black-and-white portraits for the New York Times, 2017-2019.

3
Brigitte Lacombe

Danny Bowien (chef and co-founder of Mission Chinese and Mission Burger) photographed by Brigitte Lacombe. Featured in Forward: Twenty Years of TimesTalks, a new book of Lacombe’s black-and-white portraits for the New York Times, 2017-2019.

4
Brigitte Lacombe

Glenn Close (actor, singer, writer, producer, co-founder of Bring Change To Mind) photographed by Brigitte Lacombe. Featured in Forward: Twenty Years of TimesTalks, a new book of Lacombe’s black-and-white portraits for the New York Times, 2017-2019.

5
Brigitte Lacombe

Ava DuVernay (filmmaker, writer, producer) photographed by Brigitte Lacombe. Featured in Forward: Twenty Years of TimesTalks, a new book of Lacombe’s black-and-white portraits for the New York Times, 2017-2019.

6
Brigitte Lacombe

Tavi Gevinson (writer, editor, actor) photographed by Brigitte Lacombe. Featured in Forward: Twenty Years of TimesTalks, a new book of Lacombe’s black-and-white portraits for the New York Times, 2017-2019.

7
Brigitte Lacombe

Nan Goldin (photographer, activist) photographed by Brigitte Lacombe. Featured in Forward: Twenty Years of TimesTalks, a new book of Lacombe’s black-and-white portraits for the New York Times, 2017-2019.

8
Brigitte Lacombe

Tilda Swinton (actor) and Xavier Swinton Byrne (son) photographed by Brigitte Lacombe. Featured in Forward: Twenty Years of TimesTalks, a new book of Lacombe’s black-and-white portraits for the New York Times, 2017-2019.

9
Brigitte Lacombe

David Adjaye (architect) photographed by Brigitte Lacombe. Featured in Forward: Twenty Years of TimesTalks, a new book of Lacombe’s black-and-white portraits for the New York Times, 2017-2019.

10
Brigitte Lacombe

Dominique Fishback (actor, playwright) photographed by Brigitte Lacombe. Featured in Forward: Twenty Years of TimesTalks, a new book of Lacombe’s black-and-white portraits for the New York Times, 2017-2019.

11
Brigitte Lacombe

Angela Davis (activist, author, academic) photographed by Brigitte Lacombe. Featured in Forward: Twenty Years of TimesTalks, a new book of Lacombe’s black-and-white portraits for the New York Times, 2017-2019.

12
Brigitte Lacombe

Megan Twohey (New York Times investigative reporter focusing on the treatment of women and children) photographed by Brigitte Lacombe. Featured in Forward: Twenty Years of TimesTalks, a new book of Lacombe’s black-and-white portraits for the New York Times, 2017-2019.

13
Brigitte Lacombe

Isabella Rossellini (actor, filmmaker) photographed by Brigitte Lacombe. Featured in Forward: Twenty Years of TimesTalks, a new book of Lacombe’s black-and-white portraits for the New York Times, 2017-2019.

14
Brigitte Lacombe

Patrisse Cullors (artist, activist, co-founder of Black Lives Matter) photographed by Brigitte Lacombe. Featured in Forward: Twenty Years of TimesTalks, a new book of Lacombe’s black-and-white portraits for the New York Times, 2017-2019.

15
Brigitte Lacombe

Jodi Kantor (New York Times investigative reporter covering power, gender, politics and culture) photographed by Brigitte Lacombe. Featured in Forward: Twenty Years of TimesTalks, a new book of Lacombe’s black-and-white portraits for the New York Times, 2017-2019.

16

The back cover of Forward: Twenty Years of TimesTalks, a new book of Brigitte Lacombe’s black-and-white portraits for the New York Times, 2017-2019.