I've got three words:
Naked, black(ened) thug.
Here's the pollyanna quote Ms. Leibovitz offered up to rationalize this "raw" photo of Woods taken before the scandal broke -- T I G E R's face out-of-focus to further dehumanize him; the view extending salaciously down toward his short-and-curlies.
"Tiger is an intensely competitive athlete--and quite serious about his sport. I wanted to reveal that in these photos. And to show his incredible focus and dedication."
Gimme a break. Try:
Tiger is an intense freak show right now -- and I'm seriously lucky these photos reveal what a sport he's become. Since I'm intensely competitive (and as stretched as VF is for the benjamins), I'm forsaking my dedication to score some huge bank off this incredible focus.
The photo might well have been compelling before Woods's life, and facade caved in -- if VF truly dared push on the man's pristine image -- but at this point, its publication is only cheap and punitive.
I'm looking forward to your analysis.
Update 1/7/09: Just to put a date on the photo shoot, the NY Post reports that this photo, and the others published in this month's VF, had been in Annie Leibovitz's file for four years.
For a breakdown of the latest visual spin, visit BAGnewsNotes.com.