“For me, a portrait is something from which you feel the person, their inner quality, what it is that makes them who they are. “
– Herb Ritts, 1999
Born in 1952, Herbert Ritts was an American fashion photographer who specialised in black-and-white photography and portraits.
He began his photographic career in the late 70’s and gained a reputation as a master of art and commercial photography. He produced portraits and editorial fashion for Vogue, Vanity Fair, Interview and Rolling Stone. He also successfully created advertising campaigns for Calvin Klein, Chanel, Donna Karan, Gap, Gianfranco Ferré, Gianni Versace, Giorgio Armani, Levi’s, Pirelli, Polo Ralph Lauren, Valentino among others.
From the 1988 onwards, he directed numerous influential and award winning music videos and commercials. His fine art photography has been of exhibited worldwide, with works residing in many significant public and private collections.
In his life and work, Herb Ritts was drawn to clean lines and strong forms. This graphic simplicity allowed his images to be read and felt instantaneously. They often challenged conventional notions of gender or race.
Other than his photographic works, Ritts was committed to HIV/AIDS related causes, and contributed to many charitable organisations, among them amfAR, Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, Project Angel Food, Focus on AIDS, APLA, Best Buddies and Special Olympics . He was also a charter member on the Board of Directors for The Elton John Aids Foundation.
Below, you will find a few of my favourite images by Herbert Rits. Many more can be seen here.