Richard Gere isn’t just a top actor with starring roles in An officer and a gentleman, A pretty woman, bride on the runand Chicago-he is also a passionate collector of photography. Today, Christie’s is celebrating the 72-year-old actor’s impressive collection with an online sale of photographs titled Photographs from the Richard Gere Collection.
Darius Himes, Global Head of Photography at Christie, said: “We are delighted to be dealing with such breathtaking works by one of the great film actors of the 20th century. Honed by years in front of and behind a camera, Gere’s passion for image making and collecting is on full display in this wonderfully diverse collection.
Gere’s interest in photography was furthered by his friendship with the late fashion photographer Herb Ritts, who took this iconic photo of Gere in 1977, it helped skyrocket both of their careers and cement Gere as a Hollywood sex symbol. Since then, says Himes, “[Gere] has collected across genres and time. Highlights of the collection are on display, reflecting his time spent in New York and Los Angeles, his admiration for 19th and 20th century photographers, and the friendships he made along the way.
According to a Christie’s press release, the sale of 139 lots offers works spanning the entire history of the medium. The collection includes photographs by 19th century masters Gustave Le Gray and Carleton Watkins; 20th century figures like Edward Weston, Tina Modotti and Alfred Stieglitz; and contemporary icons such as Richard Avedon, Diane Arbus, Irving Penn, Sally Mann, Robert Mapplethorpe and Herb Ritts.
Gere says in A press release“These photographs came into my life because I felt something for them. They have a real soul, a humanity, a generosity, regardless of the technique. You know, you are listening to one of the first recordings of a great singer from opera of 1902, when they had just started recording – it’s grating, it’s high-pitched. But the quality of that voice, the soul of the voice, it still hits you hard in your heart. Most of the photographers here are not interested in technique, and those who are interested in technique came from a deep and personal place, with a point of view and an understanding of the universe.
The photos in this collection are emotionally charged and will make you feel everything from drama to pleasure when you look at them. Gere says, “As an actor, my basic tool is emotions. So I think most of the images I respond to have the suggestion of a story or a flicker of mystery.
Christie’s says the sale carries a low estimate of nearly $2 million, and Gere’s collection of photographs will be available to bid from now until April 7, 2022. The collection will also be on display at Christie’s New York from April 1-4, 2022.