World-renowned photojournalist Steve McCurry unveiled the 2013 Pirelli Calendar during an official event held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Pirelli Calendar, which was first published in 1964, has developed a tradition over the years of celebrating women's bodies and the idea of female nudity as an art form. This year, however, there is a very marked difference.
The 2013 calendar will not feature nudity.
Instead, McCurry's work will focus on the beauty of the Brazilian capital's many locales and its rich culture. And all of this will be explored through 34 color photographs - 23 portraits of actresses, singers and models, nine photographs depicting everyday life in Brazil and two pictures of graffiti art.
Another highlight (and another first for the Pirelli calendar) is the presence of Victoria's Secret Angel Adriana Lima... with her baby bump. The Brazilian supermodel becomes the first ever pregnant model in the iconic calendar.
The other models chosen were selected for commitment to charitable foundations, humanitarian projects and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and include high-profile names like Petra Nemcova.
"I wanted to photograph a mix of everyday people combined with a very special group of women known not only for their talent and beauty, but also for their charitable work and contributions to their communities," McCurry was quoted as saying at a press conference, "Some of the women were models, but this is about their charities, and so I wasn't photographing them naked. It's not about their bodies. Or their sexuality. You can photograph nudes anywhere. But these models [...] are purposeful and idealistic people. So I wanted to photograph them in a special place, and Rio was perfect for this."
McCurry, a war-time photojournalist best known for another iconic image - the photo of the Afghan girl, Sharbat Gula, with sharp green eyes, who appeared on the cover of National Geographic Magazine in 1985, feels his newest work is a "calendar of the soul".
"I would say I am a street photographer doing "found situations," he said, "You can photograph nudes anywhere. But these models are clothed, and each of them has her own charity. They are purposeful and idealistic people."
Apart from featuring only the crème-de-la-crème of the world's models, the Pirelli Calendar also boasts of only the top lens men in the world. Past photographers who have shot the spread include Mario Sorrenti, Karl Lagerfeld, Terry Richardson, Peter Beard and Patrick Demarchelier.
Take a look at the launch event of the Pirelli Calendar 2013 in Rio de Janeiro...