Herb Ritts at the Getty

The secret to creativity is

knowing how to hide your sources.

Albert Einstein

The Getty Museum ranks among the 20 Best Museums in the world, sitting very pretty atop a hill with panoramic views of the City of Angels.  Catching the Herb Ritts: L.A. Style exhibit there was a definite highlight of my recent trip.    I love a man who knows how to mix fun and play in drawing out the beauty in people.  He and I share a love for spontaneity working with simple equipment and natural light, tasteful sensuality in strong forms, classical lines, and a woman’s back.  With their graphic simplicity, Herb’s images can be read and felt instantaneously, many of them challenging conventional notions of gender or race. His iconic photographs of noted individuals in film, fashion, music, politics and society capture both social history and fantasy.  As artists, our work documents time and place.

In planning a photo shoot, one of the fun things I do with my client is to create an idea board (using magazines pages, cellphone photos or Pinterest) to understand what’s beautiful and exciting to her.  With her selections and themes in mind, I show her photos, paintings, sculptures, ads, etc., I find inspiring.  Here are elements of Herb’s photos that I love:

I love sculpted hair, a dramatic pose, and elegant composition.

I love the sheen on skin, power form and movement, and

the clever use of high noon sun.

I love wind blown sheer fabrics.

I love abstract shapes and form.

I love creative shadow play.

I love the whimsy and humor of props.  Herb used tumbleweed as tree branches…

….and a live octopus as dreadlocks.

The Herb Ritts exhibit at the Getty runs until September 2, 2012.  Click on “Leave A Comment” (above left) to add your favorite sights, destinations, things to do in the City of Angels.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mountain
    Aug 26, 2012 @ 12:15:06

    Even knowing someone that volunteers at The Getty Museum I am sorry to say I’ve never been there. Love the examples you shared from the Herb Ritts exhibit. Thank you Sharky!

    Sights of the LA area. One excursion to take is perhaps walking out on the old Malibu Pier and watching the surfers in the cove. Then take a short drive north to Duke’s restaurant for a late afternoon lunch or dinner. This place was formerly known as the Sea Lion Restaurant. Known for the days when sea lions would rest on the rocks and the waves would crash outside the large windows in the dining room. When I was very young in the sixties it was my favorite treat to go there…mmmmmm, cracked crab on ice! Continuing northward on Pacific Coast Highway for a sunset drive along beach and if you plan right and made reservations so stay, jump on the 101 north to the 33 and on to Ojai. A beautiful little town in the mountains with shops to explore and good food to enjoy. This town was the home of Beatrice Woods, an artist and potter known for some amazing works. Visit her gallery if you get the chance. What a way to spend a day or weekend with someone you love.

    Having grown up here in southern California, I have many ideas for fun things to do and places to explore. Of course with many photo opportunities.



    • Powerful Goddess Photography
      Aug 26, 2012 @ 20:04:41

      Yum to crab–What an excellent itinerary for my next visit, Mountain! Add the Getty Museum to your list. A friend tells me there’s also the Getty Mansion that I’ll have to come back for.

      The Saturday night party crowd at The Edison is a great mix in age, 80s music, and well dressed thanks to a bouncer at the door who checks for collared shirts on men.

      Waterside dining was fab at Boccaccio’s on the lake in WestLake and good old Geoffrey’s in Malibu.


  2. Mountain
    Aug 26, 2012 @ 12:37:30

    Forgive me, should be Beatrice Wood.


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