The Velvet Underground “New York Extravaganza” – Exhibition 30th March – 21st August 2016

“This Summer 49 of Ritchie’s photographs will be included in a major Velvet Underground exhibition, THE VELVET UNDERGROUND – ‘NEW YORK EXTRAVAGANZA’ at the Philharmonie de Paris, in Paris, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the group’s debut album, The Velvet Underground and Nico. In Ritchie’s sharp monochrome images we see a group in transition, shirtless and covered in ‘war paint’ on the set of Piero Heliczer’s movie and elsewhere just beginning to exude the enigmatic dark-clad hauteur of their imminent tenure as house band to the speed-freak scene of Warhol’s Factory” – Jamie Holman, Art & Music, p 18, Issue 33 – Spring 2016. To read the full review click HERE.

Velvet Underground have a large, loyal following in France (where Olivier Landemaine’s superlative comprehensive Velvet Underground website comes from ( And now the Philharmonie in Paris has produced by far the most comprehensive Velvet show ever and it is fascinating. The two curators, Christian Fevret and Carole Mirabello, first asked for a few of my Velvet Underground photos, but then asked to see all of them and spoke of using them in the exhibition, the Catalogue and a separate Album as well. Denise and I went to the opening and were both knocked out by the show. The curators have found or made illustrated interviews with all the main people (including Merrill Reed Weiner, Lou Reed’s sister). There are films by Jonas Mekas, Barbara Rubin, CBS News and others and an amazing amount of background information, photos and press cuttings.

John Cale, Gerard Malanga, Jonas Mekas, Lou Reed’s sister, Merrill, Piero Heliczer’s daughter, Therese Russo and many others were at the opening and it was great to see and talk to them again.

The queue to get in was miles long and my pictures covered several walls. It is a brilliantly designed show. It even had an open booth with 40 angled mattresses for people to chill out and watch Velvet Underground movies.

My photographs appear in two exhibition publications: featured below are three pages from the “Album de l’Exposition’, the 50 page booklet features 15 of my pictures and costs 12 euros, from Cite de la Musique, Philharmonie de Paris, published by La Découverte. The Exhibition Catalogue which is hardback, features 29 of my pictures of which three are double-page spreads; it’s 226 pages for 39 euros or £29 from Amazon. Available through the exhibition website: Philharmonie de Paris or through Amazon.

The Philharmonie also has some postcards and lapel buttons of my images on sale at the Philharmonie bookshop. And a nice surprise when we arrived: four of my photographs pasted 10 feet high on hoardings at the Gare Du Nord!
The Velvet Underground “New York Extravaganza” – Exhibition runs from 30th March – 21st August 2016 – Certainly worth a trip!
Hoardings at Gare du Nord Station displaying my photographs

Hoardings at Gare du Nord Station displaying my photographs