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Herb Ritts

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Bard College


Herb Ritts


Herb Ritts Herb Ritts on Pinterest Cindy Crawford Christy

Full Name
Herbert Ritts Jr.

August 13, 1952 (
Los Angeles, California, U.S.

Known for
Black-and-white photography

GLAAD Media AwardsPioneer Award 2008

December 26, 2002, Los Angeles, California, United States

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Shirley Ritts, Herb Ritts Sr.

Notorious, Duo: Herb Ritts Photogra, Portraits: 25 Postcards, Herb Ritts Work, Herb Ritts' Africa

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Herb ritts 7 images that changed fashion photography

Herbert "Herb" Ritts Jr. (August 13, 1952 – December 26, 2002) was an American fashion photographer who concentrated on black-and-white photography and portraits, often in the style of classical Greek sculpture.


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Photographer - | Herb RITTS |

Early life and career

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Born in Los Angeles, to a Jewish family, Ritts began his career working in the family furniture business. His father, Herb Ritts Sr., was a businessman, while his mother, Shirley Ritts, was an interior designer. He moved to the East Coast to attend Bard College in New York, where he majored in economics and art history. Later, while living in Los Angeles, he became interested in photography when he and friend Richard Gere, then an aspiring actor, decided to shoot some photographs in front of an old jacked up Buick. The picture gained Ritts some coverage and he began to be more serious about photography. He photographed Brooke Shields for the cover of the Oct. 12, 1981 edition of Elle and he photographed Olivia Newton-John for her Physical album in 1981. Five years later, he would replicate that cover pose with Madonna for her 1986 release True Blue.

Later notable photographs

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During the 1980s and 1990s, Ritts photographed celebrities. He also took many fashion and nude photographs of fashion models Naomi Campbell, Stephanie Seymour, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington, and Cindy Crawford, including "Tatjana, Veiled Head, Tight View, Joshua Tree, 1988."

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Ritts' work with them ushered in the 1990s era of the supermodel and was consecrated by one of his most celebrated images, "Stephanie, Cindy, Christy, Tatjana, Naomi, Hollywood, 1989" taken for Rolling Stone Magazine.

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He also worked for Interview, Esquire, Mademoiselle, Glamour, GQ, Newsweek, Harper's Bazaar, Rolling Stone, Time, Vogue, Allure, Vanity Fair, Details, and Elle.

He published many books on photography for fashion designers including, Giorgio Armani, Revlon, Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Gianni Versace, Calvin Klein, Elizabeth Arden, Donna Karan, Cartier, Guess, Maybelline, TAG Heuer, Lacoste, Gianfranco Ferré, Levi's, Victoria's Secret, Gap, Acura, CoverGirl, Lancôme, and Valentino.

From 1996 to 1997 his work was displayed at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, attracting more than 250,000 people to the exhibit, and in 2003 a solo exhibition was held at the Daimaru Museum, in Kyoto, Japan.

Music videos

The first video he directed was Madonna in "Cherish" in 1989. In 1991, he won two MTV Video Awards for his work on music videos by Janet Jackson and Chris Isaak. Ritts also directed the music video for Michael Jackson's "In the Closet", which featured supermodel Naomi Campbell. Ritts also worked on other projects, including directing and acting, on Mariah Carey's video collection #1's (1999), Jennifer Lopez's sepia video "Ain't It Funny", Janet Jackson's Design of a Decade 1986/1996 (1996), Intimate Portrait: Cindy Crawford (1998), Murder in the First (1995), Britney Spears' "Don't Let Me Be The Last To Know" (2001) and Shakira's "Underneath Your Clothes".


On December 26, 2002, Ritts died of complications from pneumonia at the age of 50. According to Ritts' publicist, "Herb was HIV-positive, but this particular pneumonia was not PCP (pneumocystis pneumonia), a common opportunistic infection of AIDS. But at the end of the day, his immune system was compromised."


  • 1988: Parco "Quattro" with Tatjana Patitz
  • 1990: Rochas "Femme" "Globe"
  • 1990: Lancôme "Rouge Absolut" with Isabella Rossellini
  • 1991: Calvin Klein Escape "Water Ski" "Horse" "Pool" "Sailboat" with Shana Zadrick and Scott King
  • 1991: NEC with Ryuichi Sakamoto
  • 1992: Levi's Loose Fit Jeans "Wind" "Earth" "Water" "Movement" "Light" "Shorts" "Wave" "Parachute" "Fire" "Premiere" "Sunny Beach" "Collage" "Co-op Land" "Co-op All Star"
  • 1992: Levi's Loose Fit Jeans "Flag" "Stone Wheel" "Red Stripes" "Poles" "Pyramids" "Climbers" "Fort Window" "Big Ball" "Nadege's Shorts" "Winter Shorts" "Loose Fit Ninety"
  • 1992: Levi's Dockers "Grey" "Green" "Tan" "Brown" "Blue" "Black" "Green Shorts" "Tan Shorts" "Blue Shorts"
  • 1992: "Equal" with Cher
  • 1992: Guess Perfume "Café – Women" "Cafe – Men's" with Claudia Schiffer
  • 1992: Calvin Klein "Marky Mark" with Mark Wahlberg and Kate Moss
  • 1992: Revlon "Charlie" with Cindy Crawford and Little Richard
  • 1993: Brut "Aquatonic A" with Helena Christensen
  • 1993: Guy Laroche "Horizon" with Beri Smither
  • 1993: Paul Mitchell "Seasons" "Earth" with Eloise DeJoria
  • 1993: Vittel Water "Living Sculpture" with Beri Smither
  • 1993: Acura "NSX – Handmade" "Comfort" "Quality" "Premium"
  • 1994: Revlon Flex "Lighten Up" with Claudia Schiffer
  • 1994: Revlon "Kiss Proof" with Cindy Crawford
  • 1994: Revlon "Defy It" with Melanie Griffith
  • 1994: Donna Karan "DKNY Men" with Peter Fortier
  • 1994: Chanel "Allure" with Karen, Laetitia, Linda Spierings, Irene Pfieffer, Jamie Rishar, Basia Milewicz, Nadege DuBospertus, Emma
  • 1994: Paul Mitchell "Desert" with Eloise DeJoria
  • 1994: Cartier "Pasha" with Lara Harris, Tatjana Patitz.
  • 1995: Häagen-Dazs "Shall We" with Tatjana Patitz
  • 1995: Elizabeth Arden "Black Pearls" with Elizabeth Taylor
  • 1995: CoverGirl "True Advance" with Helena Christensen
  • 1996: Revlon "Won’t Fade Away" with Cindy Crawford
  • 1996: Victoria's Secret with Helena Christensen, Dennis Rodman, Vendela, Katey Sagal, Salt-n-Pepa, Naomi Campbell
  • 1997: Victoria's Secret with Helena Christensen
  • 1997: Ultima "That's The Ultimate" with Kim Delaney
  • 1997: Victoria's Secret "Angels" with Tyra Banks, Stephanie Seymour, Karen Mulder, Helena Christensen, Daniela Pestova, Tom Jones
  • 1998: Revlon "Liquid Sexy" with Shania Twain
  • 1998: Chanel with "Allure" Kiara, Chandra North, Mackie, Beri Smither, Tara Westwood, Meilan, Elisabet Davidsdottir, Daniela Pestova, Shirley Mallman
  • 1998: Elizabeth Arden "White Pearls" with Burt Reynolds
  • 1998: Revlon Ultima II "Beauty Is As Beauty Does" "Wisdom" with Cybill Shepherd
  • 1998: Revlon "Wake-Up" with Halle Berry
  • 1999: Maybelline "Triple Volume" with Christy Turlington
  • 1999: Eau De Rochas "Man and Woman" with Manon von Gerkan, Brett Hollands
  • 1999: Vidal Sassoon "Vidal" "Follower vs. Leader" "Standard Vs. State of the Arts" "Art vs. Science" with Vidal Sassoon
  • 1999: Revlon "Looks That Last" with Shania Twain, Cindy Crawford
  • 1999: Maybelline "Mascara Love" with Sarah Michelle Gellar
  • 2000: Elizabeth Arden "White Diamonds" with Elizabeth Taylor
  • 2001: Estée Lauder "Advance Night Repair" with Carolyn Murphy
  • 2001: Elizabeth Taylor "United for America" Public Service Announcement
  • 2001: Revlon "Choices" with Halle Berry
  • 2001: Maybelline "Wet Shine Nails" with Sarah Michelle Gellar
  • 2002: Victoria's Secret "New Angels" with Gisele Bündchen, Adriana Lima, Isabeli Fontana
  • 2002: Victoria's Secret "Sexy Support" with Tyra Banks
  • 2002: Estée Lauder "Beautiful" "Pleasures" "Intense" with Carolyn Murphy
  • Music videos

  • 1989: Madonna – "Cherish"
  • 1990: Janet Jackson – "Love Will Never Do (Without You)" with Antonio Sabàto, Jr. and Djimon Hounsou
  • 1991: Chris Isaak – "Wicked Game" (version 2) with Helena Christensen
  • 1991: Tina Turner – "Way of the World"
  • 1992: Michael Jackson – "In The Closet" with Naomi Campbell
  • 1994: Jon Bon Jovi – "Please Come Home For Christmas" with Cindy Crawford
  • 1996: Toni Braxton – "Let It Flow"
  • 1998: Mariah Carey – "My All"
  • 1999: Chris Isaak – "Baby Did A Bad, Bad Thing" with Laetitia Casta
  • 2000: Tracy Chapman – "Telling Stories"
  • 2001: Britney Spears – "Don't Let Me Be the Last to Know"
  • 2001: Jennifer Lopez – "Ain't It Funny"
  • 2001: 'N Sync – "Gone"
  • 2002: Shakira – "Underneath Your Clothes"
  • Books

  • Pictures, Twin Palms Publishers, 1988
  • Men/Women, Twin Palms Publishers, 1989
  • Duo, Twin Palms Publishers, 1991
  • Notorious, Little, Brown and Company/Bulfinch Press, 1992
  • Africa, Little, Brown and Company/Bulfinch Press, 1994
  • Work, Little, Brown and Company/Bulfinch Press, 1996
  • Herb Ritts, Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain, 1999
  • Herb Ritts L.A. Style, Getty Publications, 2012
  • Exhibitions

  • Herb Ritts: The Rock Portraits, Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA, June 24 – September 18, 2016.
  • Herb Ritts: The Rock Portraits, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, OH, March 13, 2015 – February 2016
  • Herb Ritts, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, March 14 – November 8, 2015
  • Herb Ritts: Super, Hamilton's Gallery, London. November 25, 2016 – January 29, 2017.
  • Herb Ritts: Super II, Hamilton's Gallery, London. January 30 – March 10, 2017.
  • References

    Herb Ritts Wikipedia

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