Photography

Ritts, Herb (1952 - 2002)

Born in a favored Californian family, Herb Ritts became a famous photographer almost by accident. During a drive in the desert with his friend Richard Gere, he casually captured the actor changing tires in a garage, in a sweaty undershirt and a cigarette pending from his lips: the photography thus appeared in numerous magazines. At a time when a strong interest resided in the body, the American photographer created black and white statuesque and sensual shots of the supermodels and celebrities of the 1980s and 1990s. Inspired by Greek sculpture he depicted a contemporary society by challenging gender, race and sexuality and transgressing stereotypes to privilege form, harmony and light - relying mostly on California’s ‘golden hour’. Herb Ritts’s images blended the female and the male, lightness and strength, suggestiveness and power to better depict a glamorous and mythical world. As the grunge aesthetic began to prevail in the mid 1990s, fashion photography claimed for a more chaotic, authentic and sexual identity. Yet Herb Ritts reminded that it was no shame to enjoy sole beauty.
 

Herb Ritts, Cordula Reyer, Vogue UK, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Cordula Reyer, Vogue UK, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Kazu I, Los Angeles, 1995 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Kazu I, Los Angeles, 1995 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Bruce Springsteen, Detail I, New York 1992 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Bruce Springsteen, Detail I, New York 1992 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Madeline Stowe © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Madeline Stowe © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Michelle Pfeiffer, 1984 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Michelle Pfeiffer, 1984 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Isabella Rossellini, New York, 1994 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Isabella Rossellini, New York, 1994 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Cindy Crawford, Man, Malibu, 1993 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Cindy Crawford, Man, Malibu, 1993 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Christy Turlington, Hollywood, 1988 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Christy Turlington, Hollywood, 1988 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Tony Ward in White, Hollywood, 1988 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Tony Ward in White, Hollywood, 1988 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Annette Bening and Warren Beatty © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Annette Bening and Warren Beatty © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Christy in White, Hollywood, 1988 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Christy in White, Hollywood, 1988 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Talisa Soto © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Talisa Soto © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Johnny Depp, Los Angeles, 1990 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Johnny Depp, Los Angeles, 1990 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Cordula Reyer, c.1989/ 1990 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Cordula Reyer, c.1989/ 1990 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Brad Pitt, 1990s © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Brad Pitt, 1990s © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Cindy Crawford © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Cindy Crawford © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Johnny Depp, 1995 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Johnny Depp, 1995 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Al Pacino, New York, 1992 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Al Pacino, New York, 1992 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Ben Affleck, Vanity Fair 2003 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Ben Affleck, Vanity Fair 2003 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Hilary Swank, 2000 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Hilary Swank, 2000 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Tatjana Patitz in Swimsuit, Hollywood, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Tatjana Patitz in Swimsuit, Hollywood, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Stephanie Seymour, Hawaii, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Stephanie Seymour, Hawaii, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Madonna, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Madonna, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Tony Ward © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Tony Ward © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Claudia Schiffer, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Claudia Schiffer, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Jodie Foster, North Carolina, 1994 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Jodie Foster, North Carolina, 1994 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Nicole Kidman, Interview Magazine, May 2001 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Nicole Kidman, Interview Magazine, May 2001 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Karen, Los Angeles, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Karen, Los Angeles, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Tyra Banks © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Tyra Banks © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Alek Wek © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Alek Wek © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Los Angeles, 1999 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Los Angeles, 1999 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Winona Ryder, 1990 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Winona Ryder, 1990 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Michelle Pfeiffer, Hollywood, 1991 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Michelle Pfeiffer, Hollywood, 1991 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Cindy Crawford, Ferre 3, Malibu, 1993 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Cindy Crawford, Ferre 3, Malibu, 1993 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Tom Cruise, c. 1986 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Tom Cruise, c. 1986 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Tatjana Patitz, Vogue, April 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Tatjana Patitz, Vogue, April 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Cameron, Los Angeles, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Cameron, Los Angeles, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Jump, Paradise Cove, 1987 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Jump, Paradise Cove, 1987 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Karen Alexander in a wrapped torso, Los Angeles, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Karen Alexander in a wrapped torso, Los Angeles, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Christian, Hollywood, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Christian, Hollywood, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Untitled Nude I, Miami, 1997  © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Untitled Nude I, Miami, 1997 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Johnny Depp, Los Angeles, 1990 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Johnny Depp, Los Angeles, 1990 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Cindy Crawford, Playboy Magazine, July 1998 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Cindy Crawford, Playboy Magazine, July 1998 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Jessica Lange, Vanity Fair, 1988 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Jessica Lange, Vanity Fair, 1988 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Madonna for her music video, “Cherish
Herb Ritts, Madonna for her music video, “Cherish", 1989, Hollywood © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Francesco Clemente, New York, 1994 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Francesco Clemente, New York, 1994 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Antonio Banderas, Malibu, 1994 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Antonio Banderas, Malibu, 1994 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Fred with tires, form series Bodyshop, Hollywood, 1984 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Fred with tires, form series Bodyshop, Hollywood, 1984 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Corresa, Africa, 1993 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Corresa, Africa, 1993 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Female Nude (Detail), Hawaii, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Female Nude (Detail), Hawaii, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Steve, Los Angeles, 1987 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Steve, Los Angeles, 1987 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Stephanie with Flower, Los Angeles, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Stephanie with Flower, Los Angeles, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Michelle Pfeiffer © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Michelle Pfeiffer © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Djimon with Octopus, Hollywood, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Djimon with Octopus, Hollywood, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Neith with Tumbleweed, Paradise Cove, 1986 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Neith with Tumbleweed, Paradise Cove, 1986 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Stephanie, Cindy, Christy, Tatjana, Naomi, Hollywood, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Stephanie, Cindy, Christy, Tatjana, Naomi, Hollywood, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Versace Veiled Dress, El Mirage, 1990 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Versace Veiled Dress, El Mirage, 1990 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Naomi Campbell, Hollywood, 1991 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Naomi Campbell, Hollywood, 1991 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Man with Chain, Los Angeles, 1985 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Man with Chain, Los Angeles, 1985 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Darati, Profile, Africa, 1993 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Darati, Profile, Africa, 1993 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Michael Jackson
Herb Ritts, Michael Jackson "In The Closet", 1992 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Julia Roberts, Malibu, 1990 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Julia Roberts, Malibu, 1990 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Richard Gere, San Bernardino, 1977 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Richard Gere, San Bernardino, 1977 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Female Nude with Black Sand, Hawaii, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Female Nude with Black Sand, Hawaii, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Carrie in Sand (Detail), Paradise Cove, 1988 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Carrie in Sand (Detail), Paradise Cove, 1988 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Now and Zen 1, El Mirage, 1999 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Now and Zen 1, El Mirage, 1999 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Female Figure with Veil 1, Hawaii, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Female Figure with Veil 1, Hawaii, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Tatjana Veiled Head, Joshua Tree, 1988 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Tatjana Veiled Head, Joshua Tree, 1988 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Djimon Three-Quarter Nude, Back View, Hollywood, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Djimon Three-Quarter Nude, Back View, Hollywood, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Male (Mark Findley) Nude with Socks, Los Angeles, 1990 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Male (Mark Findley) Nude with Socks, Los Angeles, 1990 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Bill T. Jones VI, Los Angeles, 1995 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Bill T. Jones VI, Los Angeles, 1995 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Charles Bukowski, San Pedro, 1987 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Charles Bukowski, San Pedro, 1987 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Charles Bukowski & Sean Penn (with mallot), San Pedro, 1987 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Charles Bukowski & Sean Penn (with mallot), San Pedro, 1987 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Cindy Crawford, Blond, Malibu, 1993 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Cindy Crawford, Blond, Malibu, 1993 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, David Bowie I, Los Angeles, 1987 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, David Bowie I, Los Angeles, 1987 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, John Huston, Los Angeles, 1987 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, John Huston, Los Angeles, 1987 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Madonna, Hollywood, 1986 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Madonna, Hollywood, 1986 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Michael Jordan, Chicago, 1993 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Michael Jordan, Chicago, 1993 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Tina Chow I, Poundridge, 1988 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Tina Chow I, Poundridge, 1988 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Cindy Crawford, Hawaii, 1987 © Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts, Cindy Crawford, Hawaii, 1987 © Herb Ritts Foundation
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