Christie’s recently announced that they will present Photographs from the Richard Gere Collection, an online sale of photographs from the collection of the esteemed actor taking place from 23 March – 7 April 2022.
The 156-lot sale offers works spanning the entire history of the medium, including 19th-century masters Gustave Le Gray and Carleton Watkins, to recognized early 20th-century figures such as Edward Weston, Tina Modotti, and Alfred Stieglitz, through notable contemporary icons of today including Richard Avedon, Diane Arbus, Irving Penn, Sally Mann, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Herb Ritts.
DIANE ARBUS (1923–1971)
42nd street movie theater audience, N.Y.C., 1958
gelatin silver print, flush-mounted on board
image/sheet/flush mount: 6 1/2 x 9 7/8 in. (16.5 x 25 cm.)
This work was printed by Diane Arbus.
Many of the works were acquired directly from the artists, many of whom Mr. Gere counted among his close friends. The sale carries a low estimate of nearly $2 million.
According to Richard Gere, “These photographs arrived in my life because I felt something for them. They have a real soul, humanity, generosity – it doesn’t matter what the technique is.
You know, you listen to an early recording of a great opera singer from 1902, when they just started recording – it’s scratchy, it’s trebly. But the quality of that voice, the soul of the voice, still hits you hard in your heart. Most of the photographers here are not that interested in technique. And the ones that are interested in technique were coming from a deep, personal place, with a point of view, and understanding of the universe.”
HERB RITTS (1952–2002)
Djimon with Octopus, Hollywood, 1989
gelatin silver print on linen
image: 28 x 23 1/4 in. (71.1 x 58.4 cm.)
Darius Himes, Christie’s International Head of Photographs, remarks, “We are thrilled to handle such stunning works by one of the great film actors of the 20th century. Honed by years both in front of and behind a camera, Gere’s passion for image-making and collecting is on full view in this wonderfully diverse collection.
In the late 1970s, his interest in photography was strengthened through his friendship with the late fashion photographer Herb Ritts, who inspired him to dive deeper into the history of photography. Since then, he has collected across genres and time. On display are highlights from the collection signifying a reflection of his time spent in New York and Los Angeles, his admiration of 19th and 20th-century photographers, and the friendships he made along the way.”
RICHARD AVEDON (1923–2004)
Bob Dylan, Folk Singer, New York City, 1963
gelatin silver print, printed 1967 image: 19 1/2 x 15 1/2 in. (49.5 x 39.3 cm.)
Among the many highlights in the sale are emotionally charged works by Diane Arbus, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, and Sally Mann. These works resonate with theatrics and drama; the images are challenging while maintaining a sense of delight. According to Mr. Gere, “Being an actor, my basic tool is emotions. So I think most of the pictures that I respond to have the suggestion of a story or a flicker of the mystery.”