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The L. A. based photographer Herbert (Herb) Ritts (1952-2002) bridged the gap between artistic photography and commercial fashion shoots. His work shows that photography can be highly commercial without losing its originality, signature style and aesthetic value.
Ritts is known around the world for his iconic black and white portraits of celebrities–including Brooke Shields, Diana Ross, Britney Spears, Madonna, Julia Roberts, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and Nicole Kidman. His photographs are simple, elegant and statuesque, in poses that transcend our fashions and times and deliberately imitate the style of classical Greek and Roman statues.
In the course of his long and successful career, Ritts has photographed for some of the most prestigious fashion magazines, such as Esquire, Mademoiselle, Glamour, GQ, Vogue and Elle. The elegance, simplicity, starkness (his images are usually black and white) and timeless, statuesque poses of his fashion shoots and portraits make them stand out as works of art.
Ritts has also directed music videos, including Madonna’s “Cherish” and Michael Jackson’s “In the Closet”. He passed away in 2002, at the age of 50, due to complications from pneumonia. In the fall of 2012, the Getty Museum commemorated Ritt’s beautiful artistic legacy with an exhibit of his photography called “L.A. Style”. You can see more of his fashion photography and famous portraits on his website below:
Claudia Moscovici, postromanticism.com