Veuve Clicquot and Magnum Photos salute the sun

‘Emotions of the Sun’, a photography exhibition by Veuve Clicquot and Magnum Photos, debuts in Milan, accompanied by a sun-themed tasting menu

Veuve Clicquot Magnum Photos Emotions of the Sun: woman bounces yellow balloon
Alex Webb
(Image credit: © Alex Webb - Magnum Photos)

In partnership with Veuve Clicquot

Veuve Clicquot’s partnership with Magnum Photos invites a team of world-class photographers – Steve McCurry, Alex Webb, Trent Parke, Olivia Arthur, Lindokuhle Sobekwa, Cristina de Middel, Nanna Heitmann and Newsha Tavakolian – to take on a unique commission: to make memorable images and convey emotions inspired by the sun.

Veuve Clicquot Magnum Photos Emotions of the Sun: woman in yellow on rocks

Nanna Heitmann

(Image credit: © Nanna Heitmann - Magnum Photos)

The resulting exhibition, ‘Emotions of the Sun’, is now embarking on a world tour, rising first in Milan at Garden Senato, in a space created specially by French designer Constance Guisset. The Milan show is complemented by a sun-themed tasting menu, with award-winning chefs and rising gastronomic talents presenting dishes that celebrate the emotional appeal of summer aromas, flavours and textures.

Veuve Clicquot Magnum Photos Emotions of the Sun: people silhouetted, jumping into sea

Trent Parke

(Image credit: © Trent Parke - Magnum Photos)

The menu includes sunny, epicurean delights by Jean Imbert of Paris’ Plaza Athénée; Mory Sacko of MoSuke Paris; Valentina Rizzo of Farmacia dei Sani in Ruffano, Lecce; and Karime López, the first Mexican woman chef to obtain a Michelin star, of Gucci Osteria in Florence. Signature dishes are served in pairing with Maison Veuve Clicquot’s most iconic cuvées.

Inspired by its founder Madame Clicquot’s free spirit, Maison Veuve Clicquot has long been known for its iconic, signature yellow – the colour of the sun – symbolising hope, optimism and the promise of infinite possibilities. Now, the champagne maison’s partnership with Magnum Photos (the agency founded in 1947 by photographers Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson) is a photographic celebration of all things bright and yellow, the sun interpreted as a universal joy.

Veuve Clicquot Magnum Photos Emotions of the Sun: sunrise at Mount Fuji

Steve McCurry

(Image credit: © Steve McCurry - Magnum Photos)

Inspiration for the project came from photographic composition, technique and process, and the notion of a synergistic collaboration between artist and sunlight. The sun is seen as the photographer’s essential ally, its golden glow sublimating landscapes, enhancing human subjects, animating movement, and throwing light on still life. ‘The colours we perceive in the natural world are influenced by a combination of sunlight, the objects themselves, and atmospheric conditions,’ says Steve McCurry. ‘The changing light at sunrise or sunset makes Mount Fuji even more magical.’

Veuve Clicquot Magnum Photos Emotions of the Sun: balls on bed with sun coming through curtain

Newsha Tavakolian

(Image credit: © Newsha Tavakolian - Magnum Photos)

All the photographers were given creative carte blanche to express the sun theme, their individual interpretations captured in the 40 new photographs that make up the exhibition. Each image is a unique illustration of the sun as an emotional powerhouse, the ultimate force of life, the great clock in the sky.

Veuve Clicquot Magnum Photo Emotions of the Sun: shadow on stack of straw bales

Olivia Arthur

(Image credit: © Olivia Arthur - Magnum Photos)

Cristina de Middel’s luminous, fantastical images convey a sense of pure joy and lightness of being, while Olivia Arthur’s tender, highly personal photographs recall the serenity of childhood summers. For Newsha Tavakolian, the sun is a soothing, nourishing presence. Her pictures tell a story of hope and female empowerment, while Lindokuhle Sobekwa celebrates everyday miracles: a sunset, flowers opening their petals, the glitter of sunlight.

Nanna Heitmann’s theatrical series represents the osmosis of the elements and honours the sun as the source of all life, the force that connects us all. McCurry’s majestic studies of Mount Fuji capture moments of pure rapture and contemplation: a hymn to elemental grandeur.

Veuve Clicquot Magnum Photos Emotions of the Sun: man picks fruit

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

(Image credit: © Lindokuhle Sobekwa - Magnum Photos)

Alex Webb’s celebratory imagery and vivid colours are made possible solely by the generous presence of the sun: in a play of light and shadows, etiolated silhouettes parade before us like so many multi-layered lives. Trent Parke’s majestic portrayals of the setting sun read like symbolic images of a new departure, a turn of the wheel of life, and the presence of eternity in all things.

Veuve Clicquot Magnum Photos Emotions of the Sun; yellow balloon over desert

Cristina De Middel

(Image credit: © Cristina De Middel - Magnum Photos)

‘Maison Veuve Clicquot is delighted to work with eight internationally renowned Magnum photographers, the lifeblood of that most renowned photographic institution,’ says Jean-Marc Gallot, president of Maison Veuve Clicquot. ‘The exhibition confirms Veuve Clicquot’s deep-rooted commitment to culture and transmits our message of optimism to the world at large.’

The inaugural exhibition of Veuve Clicquot’s ‘Emotions of the Sun’ opens during Milan Design Week 2024, from 15 April (private view, by invitation only) to 21 April, Garden Senato Milano, Via Senato 14, 20121 Milan