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KM Fine Arts Gallery explores the life and work of Carinthia West
Shelley Duvall.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Looking Back is the New Forward explores the life and work of Carinthia West through her photographs. Carinthia’s upcoming exhibition Looking back is the New Forward curated by Renee Pappas, the first installment of a two part series being held at KM Fine Arts Gallery taking place simultaneously with Kurt Cobain introspective photography show Endorsement – The Unseen Cobain Photos by visual artist Geoff Moore.

The only child of General Sir Michael, UK representative of NATO in Washington DC 1961 – 1965, and Lady Christine West, Carinthia’s life has been one of extraordinary experiences. Brought up by aristocratic art-loving parents who traveled the world, she was no stranger to famous company. She accompanied them to dinners with the Kennedy's, and parties with Hollywood stars. Her father was in the thick of world events, advising President Kennedy on the Cuban missile crisis, as well as entertaining Royalty, diplomats and visiting British VIP’s such as Beyond The Fringe’s Jonathan Miller, Allan Bennett, Dudley Moore and Peter Cook. Known as “the Dancing General” for his love of rock’n’roll, yet with three DSO’s for bravery, Carinthia credits him for her love of the visual arts, music, and the importance of a sense of balance and humor. A muse to rock icons along with being a model, actress, photographer, and writer; Carinthia always had a camera at her side capturing intimate moments of her celebrity friends throughout her career. As Muse Magazine wrote, Carinthia was a ‘free spirit’, blissfully unaware that she was candidly recording icons and iconic moments of the times. Or as Ronnie Wood puts it ‘Carinthia took photos while we were getting on with life….”

At sixteen, and on their return to London, she was discovered standing at a bus stop on the King’s Road by Beatles photographer Robert Whitaker. Whitaker, whose flat mate was Eric Clapton, opened a door to a world filled with Swinging Sixties’ icons, such as Jimi Hendrix, Marianne Faithfull, and Anita Pallenberg. Carinthia’s long legged blonde looks were perfectly suited to this world of modeling, film, and theatre work, and in 1976 she was chosen by Eric Idle to act in his comedy series ‘Rutland Weekend Television’, and the cult film ‘The Rutles’. She took her Canon cameras on set, and kept a visual diary from then on, photographing those who crossed her path, including George Harrison, Helen Mirren, Carly Simon, and David Bowie, all of whom became personal friends and allowed her to photograph them behind the scenes.

In 1976, Eric Idle, and Ronnie and Krissie Wood, invited her to travel with them to the south of France and then to Los Angeles for most of the 1980’s; where she acted in tv and film, and ‘a two hander’ play with Anjelica Huston, sharing a flat with Helen Mirren. Later she worked as the style editor of the L.A.Weekly and eventually rented her own house in Hollywood, until a family illness brought her back to England where she lives now. By 1990 she had become a journalist and contributing editor for Marie Claire, and later Harper’s and Queen and Harper’s Bazaar. A few of the personalities she interviewed for the magazines were Oprah Winfrey, Donald Sutherland, Greta Scacchi, Carly Simon, Queen Noor of Jordan, Helen Mirren, Anjelica Huston, Steve Martin, Dennis Hopper, Melanie Griffith, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, and John Hurt, as well as lifestyle, humorous, health and travel articles, but after her Godchildren persuaded her to start trawling her archives and printing her images, she found she had a ‘new career’. She has now had exhibitions in London, Birmingham, San Francisco and Chicago with a forthcoming documentary in 2017.

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