Herb Ritts: L.A. Style

Paul Martineau with an essay by James Crump

Getty Publications

In shops now

The boulevards of Los Angeles have recently been covered in black & white banners announcing the Getty’s current Herb Ritts exhibit, L.A. Style.  It’s hard to believe that it’s been a decade since Mr. Ritts passed, but to see his iconic images once again reminds of the iconic style that he brought to the art world via Hollywood with his photography.

This hardcover exhibition catalogue showcases some of his most treasured prints – “Djimon with Octopus,” “Versace Dress, Back View,” “Backflip,” “Stephanie, Cindy, Christy, Tajana, Naomi” and a slew of male nudes that somehow make us appreciate shape and lighting and contours in an entirely new way.  And, of course, there are the celebrities:  Sinéad O’Connor, John Travolta, Tina Turner, David Bowie and more.  This was his world, and it was one that bridged the gap between classic Hollywood and modern art.  It strangely feels dated that way, but that’s by no means a criticism.

It’s an amazing collection to revisit either on your coffee table or in person.