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Icons Shine in the 2024 Pirelli Calendar captured by Ghanaian Artist Prince Gyasi

James Samuel, from left, Amanda Gorman, Prince Gyasi and Angela Bassett arrive for the 2024 Pirelli calendar launch in London, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023.   -  
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Alberto Pezzali/Invision

United Kingdom

Actor Angela Bassett, poet Amanda Gorman and filmmaker Jeymes Samuel are just some of the famous faces appearing in the 2024 Pirelli Calendar.

The acclaimed annual publication has been photographed by Ghanaian visual artist Prince Gyasi, who selected the stars who would pose for the new edition.

Unveiled Thursday, the theme of the calendar is "Timeless" and it features people who have inspired the artist.

"It was like more of a natural instinct of me just going back to my childhood memories, and picking up, like, you know, chapters that I experienced looking at these people on TV, listening to them. And also, like, you know, having that inspiration, drawing that inspiration from their work," explains Gyasi on drawing up his shortlist for the project.

Being asked to pose for the calendar was a shock and a thrill for Bassett, who, as an art lover, was well aware of the publication and keen to be involved.

The fact that it was being shot by a young Black African photographer and featured a cast of Black stars was "thrilling."

"I just knew it was Pirelli, it was iconic," Bassett smiles. "And to find out that (Gyasi) is the first and youngest Black African photographer for this work is just thrilling, thrilling for his generation, so I'm looking forward to seeing many other great things by him. But also, you know, everyone who was involved, that idea of Black excellence, you know, which is honestly the thing that our mothers and forefathers or mothers have impressed upon us from a young age, that as being Black and Brown in this world, you have, you have to lead with excellence."

Other people to feature in the calendar include supermodel Naomi Campbell plus the actors/musicians Idris Elba, Tiwa Savage and Teyana Taylor.

Also appearing are artist Amoako Boafo, former soccer player Marcus Desailly and Ghanian royalty, His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.

A representative for the king made an appearance at a special preview of the calendar in London Wednesday.

Gorman appears alongside writer Margot Lee Shetterly in an image entitled The Blueprint.

"It was so fun and funny because I was wearing this, like, hay suit that, like, weighed as much as I did, and it was hot, but, like, I knew the photos, despite my sweating, would be amazing. And I also was shooting alongside Margot Lee Shetterly who's an amazing author. And so being able to kind of play off of each other in that way, which is unique to the calendar because typically it's one person, was super fun to have, like, an older sister with me as I was doing it."

Prince Gyasi, who shot the images in in Ghana and the U.K., also features in two different guises in the calendar - as himself and as a child, portrayed by a young actor.

"The Book of Clarence" director Samuels, who is also good friends with the Gyasi, says the calendar means a lot to him.

"I think the calendar shows people excellence, like on a super-broad scale, because Pirelli have done nothing like this, so for them to take the bold step to get an African visual artist, have all of these people of colour, and really it shows, if you look at the people, photographed and artistically placed and look at the environments that Prince Gyasi has created for them, it's basically the world."

The first Pirelli Calendar was published in 1964. Since then, it has become known for its high art aesthetic and showcasing some of the world's biggest stars.

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