Herb Ritts is dead.
I stared across the table at Dona and I scrambled through my head to remember where and if I had even heard that. My first reaction was “No Way”. The 90s was filled with his imagery and I never remember him being an old guy per say. Tragically in 2002 on Dec 26th he passed on.
The conversation was about classy sexy imagery. Nude photography as an art form and differentiating plastic boobs and low budget porn was critical to the thinking. This brainstorm about photographers and their unique approaches to the subject lead to Herb’s “Wicked Game” video with Helena Christensen. He had clean lines and was able to keep the subject strong in all the work he presented. The film and the camera nor any technical wizardry was Herb’s signature to the work. You could feel that all his subjects were somehow emotional connected to Herb and in this creation process a trust was built. This sincerity became part of the strong lines and clean lighting to be a signature.
The memory of his work today was a testament to the work he created, His untimely death in many ways has immortalized the work.