Herb Ritts 1952 —2002


Herb Ritts was born in los angeles in 1952, and grew up living and
working among the celebrities of the day.
In 1970, he left california to attend bard college and study economics.
He later returned to west hollywood and worked as a sales representative
for the family business selling rattan furniture, often to movie sets.
This job allowed ritts to travel and to pursue one of his interests,
photographing his friends.

Ritts' hobby soon became a self-taught career; the photographer himself attributes his first success to shots of actor Richard Gere taken on a desert excursion that ended with a flat tire. It was the tender machismo captured in the photograph of the young
Gere - rising star of the 1980 movie 'american gigolo' - that launched
ritts' career as a commercial photographer.

Ritts looks back on the late '70s and early '80s as apprentice years,
mastering his craft and developing a personal aesthetic photographing
men's and women's fashions. Simultaneously, he was building his reputation as a celebrity portraitist. While working for 'interview' magazine in 1985, ritts exhibited his
photographs in a gallery setting for the first time.
Since then his career has escalated, moving from fashion photography
for the top national and international fashion magazines
such as 'harper's bazaar', 'vogue', 'elle', 'vanity fair', and 'rolling stone',
among others, to album covers and music videos for madonna, elton john
and cher (in 1991, two of his videos won MTV awards for best female video
of Janet Jackson and best male video of Chris Isaak).

Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, the gap, Versace, Valentino, Gianfranco Ferre
and Giorgio Armani are among his many corporate clients.
It was for his portraits for 'the gap' that he received the infinity award
for applied photography from the international center for photography, New York. He directed several international commercial campaigns. Chanel, Calvin Klein, Levi's, Rochas, Lancome, Guess, Revlon, Guy Laroche and Cartier are only a few examples of his work in this area.

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.

An important source for modern and contemporary American & European Art in East Hampton, New York & worldwide, Janet Lehr Fine Arts' spectacular wide-ranging inventory consists of unique paintings, drawings, large & small scale sculpture, monotypes, prints and photographs  by Ansel Adams, Milton Avery, Richard Avedon, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Romare Bearden, Fernando Botero, Cartier-Bresson, Marc Chagall, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Willem De Kooning, Richard Diebenkorn, Thomas Eakins, Childe Hassam, David Hockney, Winslow Homer, Wolf Kahn, Jeff Koons, Fernand Leger, Roy Lichtenstein, Man Ray, Thomas Moran, Henry Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Rothko, Cindy Sherman, Charles Sheeler, Bert Stern, Alfred Stieglitz, Andy Warhol, Carleton E Watkins, Tom Wesselmann and Andrew Wyeth.

To bookmark Janet Lehr Fine Arts Gallery website: http://www.janetlehrfinearts.com

View synoptic biography below.


Platinum palladium print

16 x 13 inches
Edition of 100. Literature: Tibet House Portfolio 1990, Pub. by Thomas Consilvio.

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