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.

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