J. Paul Getty Museum
HERB RITTS (American, 1952–2002),
Tony in White, Hollywood, 1988,
Gelatin silver print, © Herb Ritts Foundation
"He revolutionized fashion photography,
modernized the nude,
and transformed celebrities into icons."
Herb Ritts mirrored our elegance.
He gave us a dignity that commanded respect.
At a time when we needed it the most, he gave us invincibility.
In 2002, Herb’s untimely death came from AIDS-related complications.
He was inducted into the Tom of Finland Foundation Artist Hall of Fame
Through hard work and a distinctive vision, Herb Ritts
(1952–2002) fashioned himself into one of the top photographers
to emerge from the 1980s. Ritts's aesthetic incorporated facets of
life in and around Los Angeles. He often made use of the bright California
sunlight to produce bold contrasts, and his preference for outdoor
locations such as the desert and the beach helped to separate his
work from that of his New York-based peers.
Ritts's intimate portraiture, his modern yet classical
treatment of the nude, and his innovative approach to fashion brought
him international acclaim and placed him securely within an American
tradition of portrait and magazine photography that includes Richard
Avedon, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Irving Penn.
From the late 1970s until Ritts's untimely death from
AIDS-related complications in 2002, his ability to create images that
successfully bridged the gap between art and commerce was not only
a testament to the power of his imagination and technical skill but
also marked the synergistic union between art, popular culture, and
business that followed in the wake of the Pop Art movement of the
1960s and 1970s.
Following its presentation at the Getty, this exhibition
will be on view at the Cincinnati Art Museum from October 6 to December
30, 2012, and at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Florida
from March 1 to June 2, 2013.
J. Paul Getty Museum
At the Getty Center, West Pavilion
Gallery Hours: Call
1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90049 · Map
J. Paul Getty Museum Website
Herb Ritts: L.A. Style Information