The Getty Center has two photography exhibits up that will tickle the fancy of anyone enthralled with fame.
The first is Herb Ritts – L.A. Style. The following is taken from the Getty’s website about the exhibit:
Through hard work and a distinctive vision, Herb Ritts (1952–2002) fashioned himself into one of the top photographers to emerge from the 1980s. Ritts’s aesthetic incorporated facets of life in and around Los Angeles. He often made use of the bright California sunlight to produce bold contrasts, and his preference for outdoor locations such as the desert and the beach helped to separate his work from that of his New York-based peers. Ritts’s intimate portraiture, his modern yet classical treatment of the nude, and his innovative approach to fashion brought him international acclaim and placed him securely within an American tradition of portrait and magazine photography that includes Richard Avedon, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Irving Penn.
From the late 1970s until Ritts’s untimely death from AIDS-related complications in 2002, his ability to create images that successfully bridged the gap between art and commerce was not only a testament to the power of his imagination and technical skill but also marked the synergistic union between art, popular culture, and business that followed in the wake of the Pop Art movement of the 1960s and 1970s.
Next is Portraits of Renown: Photography and the Cult of Celebrity. This exhibit is basically an interesting history lesson about photography’s role in satisfying the desire of the masses to peer into the lives of the famous. Here is an excerpt from the Getty website:
Photography’s remarkable ability to shape identities has made it the leading vehicle for representing the famous. Soon after photography was invented in the 1830s, it was used to capture the likenesses and accomplishments of great men and women, gradually supplanting other forms of commemoration.
In the 20th century, the proliferation of photography and the transformative power of fame helped to accelerate the desire for photographs of celebrities in magazines, newspapers, advertisements, and on the Internet. Drawn exclusively from the J. Paul Getty Museum’s collection of photographs, this exhibition surveys some of the visual strategies used by photographers to picture the famous from the 1840s to the year 2000.
Both exhibits run until August 26, 2012. Click here for info.