Thursday, May 6, 2010

Herb Ritts

When I was looking on the internet for some pictures to decorate club T.R.A.C.S. for the May 1st party I found this famous picture with the greasy garage mechanic.
I did not know who made it, so I did some search and found that it was made by:
Herbert Ritts (August 13, 1952 – December 26, 2002) was an American fashion photographer who concentrated on black-and-white photography and portraits in the style of classical Greek sculpture. Consequently some of his more famous pieces are of male and female nudes in what can be called glamour photography.
Ritts grew up in southern California, and his career began in the late 1970s with informal portraits of friends in the movie industry. The photographer himself attributes his first success to shots of actor Richard Gere taken on a desert excursion that ended with a flat tire. Ritts mastered his craft and developed his personal aesthetic photographing men' s and women' s fashions, often for Italian magazines, in the late 1970s and early 1980s. His sequences frequently had a narrative theme and a specific period setting. A fashion spread on jeans and overalls echoes the early Gere portrait: Ritts rented a fifties garage in Los Angeles and cast his muscular models as greasy garage mechanics. Ritts' s eye for period style and his instinct for the timing of fashion revivals enhance his ability to make pictures that fire the imagination.
In the past decade, Ritts has also published several books that bring together photographs around a particular theme. His images capture the beauty of strength and youth, the appeal of the human body, the radiance of California sun and sand, the maniacal grin of Jack Nicholson and the tattooed torso of basketball star Dennis Rodman. Many of these photographs were created independently; others arose from Ritts' s commercial assignments, chosen from the hundreds taken on a given shoot or made at his own initiative immediately after a job. Fine art, design, fashion, photographic media, and global marketing are all dynamically connected in today' s complex culture, and Ritts' s work exemplifies our broadening notion of artistic activity.
At other times, Ritts catches us off guard with an unexpected twist. Madonna is renowned both for her glamour and her outrageousness, and Ritts captures these elements in pictures of her vamping as a classic sex goddess and mugging in Mickey Mouse ears. But his images of the famous blonde stretched and distorted by fun-house mirrors or in eighteenth-century powdered wig take us by surprise.


Ritts was a celebrity photographer of the 1980s and 1990s. He later photographed notables such as, Christopher Reeve, Dalai Lama, Cher, Elizabeth Taylor, Ronald Reagan, Steven Hawking, Edward Norton, Madonna, Dizzy Gillespie, Annette Benning, Richard Gere, Cindy Crawford, and many others. He set up Cindy with his friend, actor Richard Gere. They later married and divorced. He worked for the magazines, Interview, George Magazine, GQ, Harper's Bazaar, Rolling Stone, Vogue, Vanity Fair and Elle. He photographed Prince for his "The Hits/The B-Sides" greatest-hits package released in 1993.He published many books on photography for leading fashion designers including, Giorgio Armani, Revlon, Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Gianni Versace and Calvin Klein. From 1996 to 1997 some of his work was displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts, attracting more than 253,000 people to the exhibit.

He died in 2002 at the age of 50 from complications caused by AIDS.

2 comments:

Carl said...

Love the greasy mechanic photo. Have seen it befor. Have downloaded it for my pleasure. smile. Also love the last photo in this posting.

Christo Spyker said...

Especially for you I made a update