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April 19 2014

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The West Coast Warhol, Revealed

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A picture may be worth a thousand words—but with a photographer as beloved as the late Herb Ritts, perhaps it was only a matter of time before someone added a written account, too. Now Charles Churchward, who first met Ritts during his tenure as Vanity Fair‘s executive design director, has stepped up to the plate with Herb Ritts: The Golden Hour, a richly illustrated biography. “We were seated next to each other at a dinner during the Milan collections back in 1980, and we just started talking,” Churchward said at the book’s L.A. release party. “A few years later, we began doing photo shoots together, and later we became neighbors when we both took second homes in Santa Fe.”

Churchward was surrounded by Ritts’ iconic images of Alek Wek, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington Burns (in Versace in 1990, above) and Richard Gere (who penned the book’s foreword), all of which will stay on view at the Fahey/Klein Gallery in L.A. through December 4. “Readers want to know about the person behind the camera for great photographs,” Churchward explained. “A lot of the images illustrate stories from the 100 people I interviewed to make this biography. He was always shooting his friends and subjects for himself, so there’s a rich archive. He was a West Coast Warhol for documenting the times.”

Photo: © Herb Ritts Foundation / Courtesy of Fahey/Klein Gallery, L.A.

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  1. mfvandyke says:

    what a great thing for los angeles. we cannot wait to get a chance to go check it out.

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