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As a photographer, said Herb Ritts, ‘you’re trying to get to one moment with one frame that may eventually speak to your generation.’ After shooting close to two million rolls of film before his death in 2002, Ritts did just that, creating some of the most iconic images of his era — for clients including Madonna, Calvin Klein, Vogue and Rolling Stone.

On 6 April, one of Ritts’ most celebrated photographs will be among 25 offered at Christie’s as part of a special auction to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Described by Sir Elton John as ‘one of the greatest Herb Ritts photographs of all time’, Backflip, Paradise Cove, 1987 captures its subject mid-flight, with the Pacific coast of Ritts’ native California as backdrop. The print that is being offered in our 6 April sale is one that Ritts owned personally and hung in his home.