Exhibition from October 17 to December 5, 2015
CAMERA WORK ⋅ Kantstrasse 149 ⋅ 10623 Berlin ·∙ Germany ·∙ www.camerawork.de Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday ⋅ 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The exhibition gives you a comprehensive insight into the unprecedented body of work by Herb Ritts, who is regarded as one of the most important fashion, portrait and celebrity photographers in history.
Herb Ritts worked with all major personalities of 80s and 90s pop culture throughout his career, which spanned more than 20 years. Amongst the exhibited works are famous portraits of David Bowie, stylistically demanding productions with top models such as Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Kate Moss and Claudia Schiffer as well as portraits of Hollywood stars such as Drew Barrymore and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Herb Ritts not only created timeless icons with great intuition and stylistic confidence in using rigorous shapes, which provoke monumental sensuality, but he also influenced a generation of photo artists with his innovative picture language. Sand, sea, sky and often ominous, dramatic shadows are the backdrops against which Herb Ritts staged perfect light sculptures. His works were often created around Los Angeles, where he grew up as a neighbor of actor Steve McQueen. With formal seriousness and subtle eroticism, the »master of the lascivious pose« composed black and white pictures of distinctive elegance.The masterpieces by Herb Ritts are attributed to the icons of photo art, impressively demonstrate his timeless aesthetic as well as a directing picture language and nowadays achieve record prices of over 100,000 Euros at international auctions. Even though these famous works have found their way into art history, more artworks exist which were created in the respective photo shoots but have partly never been exhibited before. CAMERA WORK is proud to exclusively present a selection of these works which make omnipresent photo icons to exciting series of works.
All shown works for sale were produced in Herb Ritts' lifetime and are signed by him or Mark McKenna (the director of Herb Ritts Foundation).
Herb Ritts, who was born 1952, achieved his international breakthrough as fashion, celebrity, portrait and nude photographer aged 26. His initially private shots of the young Richard Gere, at that time relatively unknown and bursting with energy, whilst changing tires, marked the beginnings of his career as icon photographer of pop culture. The images were a sensation and were met with great enthusiasm because of their powerful aesthetics. This would lay the foundation of his international career. Herb Ritts decidedly shaped the aesthetics of magazines such as »Vogue«, »Vanity Fair« or »Interview« with his fashion features in the 80s and 90s. His promotional campaigns for companies such as Calvin Klein, Armani or Gap were immediately imprinted on the spectator’s memory. Even music videos for Madonna, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Shakira and especially Chris Isaak’s legendary video for »Wicked Game« belong to the artist’s unequalled body of work. Herb Ritts' works have been shown in many solo exhibitions across the globe, including amongst others the Guggenheim Museum in New York, J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles as well as Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Herb Ritts passed away in 2002 at the age of 50 years.