Herb Ritts: Photographs

September 14 – October 28, 2017

Corps Et Âmes - 4, Los Angeles, 1999

Pierre and Yuri, Los Angeles, 1999

Fred with Tires, Hollywood, 1984

Djimon with Octopus, Hollywood, 1989

Versace Dress, Back View, El Mirage, 1990

Press Release

The Fahey/Klein Gallery is pleased to present rare and never-before-seen photographs by world renowned photographer, Herb Ritts.  This exhibition features photographs from Ritts’ 1999 editorial spread from Paris Vogue, Corps Et Âmes. The exhibition includes (24) photographs from his original edit of (48), highlighting his distinctive editing process.

When Herb Ritts accepted the assignment to shoot Corps Et Âmes for Paris Vogue, he was well into his career with long-term contracts at both American Vogue and Vanity Fair. High-profile advertising campaigns, commercials, and music videos had become the norm for Ritts, with each session becoming an event unto itself.  Ritts made a deliberate attempt with this shoot to return to the core basics upon which he established his career. 

Under contract with Conde Nast, Ritts required permission from the American Vogue editor-in-chief, to shoot for another magazine, even one under the Conde Nast moniker.  With this blessing, Ritts accepted the assignment and set out to create a photo session that would adhere to the more modest budget typical of a European Vogue shoot.

Corps Et Âmes features San Francisco Ballet dancers, Lorena Feijoo, Yuri Possokhov, Pierre-François Vilanoba and Pauli Magierek, photographed only on the roof of his studio in Los Angeles, where Ritts relied on natural light as his key lighting source. In a return to simplicity, Ritts would pare back to an intimate crew of just a couple of assistants. Ritts would work with rotating walls to control and maximize the use of sunlight and how it would fall on the subjects.  Backgrounds draped with solid black fabric allowed Ritts to accent the contours of each dancer, allowing Ritts the opportunity to revisit his long-standing admiration for the shape and form of the human body. 

Drawn directly from The Herb Ritts Archives, this exhibition showcases a selection with a depth not yet shown before. This exhibition also showcases “variants” from some of Herb Ritts’ well-known works, including Versace Dress (Back View), Alek Wek, Djimon with Octopus, and Fred with Tires.

Born in Brentwood CA 1952, Herb Ritts began his photography career in 1978 shooting headshots for aspiring actors. Herb Ritts passed away from AIDS, December 26, 2002. The Herb Ritts Foundation was established through Herb Ritts’ directives with a mission to support HIV/AIDS causes and the advancement of the art of photography in a manner that reflects the spirit and values exemplified by Herb Ritts.

Press Photographs Available on Request