Friday, October 19, 2012

Masters of Photography: Herb Ritts | 1952 - 2002

Last week I was pleasantly surprised to receive a few Herb Ritts post cards by a good friend that came back from L.A. She had visited the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center that houses European and American photographs, sculptures, drawings and decorative arts.

Herb Ritts had a specialty in black and white photography featuring celebrity portraiture of Jack Nicholson, Madonna, Richard Gere, Julia Roberts and many more. It was surprising to find out that the music video for Chris Isaak's Wicked Game was another of his creations. Ritts had a special appreciation for the beauty of the human body as well. He preferred to cast sculptured bodies of athletes rather than those of meticulously polished models. 

Herb Ritts | Models: Pierre and Yuri, 1999 | © Herb Ritts Foundation

This photo of two members of the San Francisco ballet recreates a circular pose that was shot against a black backdrop. The somewhat tactile symbolism of trust and support depicts the solidity of a man to man relationship. Ritts himself was in a long-term partnership with another man.

Two memorable works here are photos of Cindy Crawford posing on beach in a gorgeous dress and Christy Turlington in a see-through bathing suit.

Herb Ritts| 
Left | Model: Djimon Hounsou with an octopus, 1989  
Right | Model: Karen  Alexander, 1989

Herb Ritts | Models: Stephanie Seymour, Cindy Crawford, Tatjana Patitz & Naomi Campbell

Herb Ritts | Model: Karen Alexander, LA 1989

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