September 4, 2012
While I was on the West Coast last July, I went to see ‘L.A. Style’: an exposition of the late photographer Herb Ritts’ work, at the J. Paul Getty Museum. What I noticed is that although I didn’t know Ritts, I definitely knew his work. I think everyone who was alive during the 80’s and 90’s has seen his celebrity portraits, his advertising campaigns for Calvin Klein and Armani, and music videos for the likes of Madonna and Michael Jackson, to name a few.
Madonna’s Cherish. Also view a short documentary on YouTube.
Ritts’ work was inspired by architecture and the classical nude, and his style was quintessential L.A., often using the natural Californian light and landscape. Once your attention is drawn to this distinctive style, you realize how much of Ritts’ amazing work you actually already know.
Herb Ritts was HIV positive. He died almost ten years ago, in December of 2002.