This exhibition will focus on the personal work of
photographer Herb Ritts. Well known for his glamorous and playful
portraits as well as his highly successful commercial work in the
fields of fashion and film, Ritts considered the work he created
solely for himself the most personally satisfying.
Self-taught as a photographer, and falling into it almost by accident,
he would wind up almost as well known as one of his subjects by
the time of his premature death in 2002. His career reads as if
it happened almost by chance, from taking a few snapshots of Richard
Gere while getting a flat tire fixed that wind up in an Italian
fashion magazine, to being cajoled into making the first of many
videos at the insistence of a young Madonna.
Throughout his many assignments Herb Ritts utilized his own self-assured
nature to persuade his subjects to reveal something vulnerable and
unexpected about themselves, and the clean lines and graphically
strong forms of the resulting pictures would become a trademark.
Working with natural light, conveying an unmistakably West Coast
optimism, his work was both fierce and sensual.
While Ritts worked extensively with the human body, this exhibit
will focus exclusively on the male nude figure. Circus acrobats,
bodybuilders, models and friends alike reveal in these images an
emotional innocence at odds with our preconceived notions of male
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Paul - Torso,
Los Angeles 1990 16x20 (toned) Gelatin-Silver Print
©Herb Ritts, courtesy HERB RITTS FOUNDATION www.herbritts.com
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