Last year, I got to know more about the works of famed fashion photographer Herb Ritts by way of learning about one of his prior assistants, celebrity and fashion photographer Brian Bowen Smith, at a lecture called ‘What is Beauty?’ sponsored by the Annenberg Space for Photography. You can clearly see Ritt’s influence on Bowen Smith, in the use of light and his ability to obtain that elusive connection between subject and photographer. I would highly suggest to any photography aficionados to watch the video of his lecture, Bowen Smith discusses how he defines beauty, how he became an assistant to Ritts and breaks down how he created many of his shots.
This past weekend, I and a few friends went to see the Herb Ritts: LA Style exhibit at the Gettty museum. It was a beautiful and large exhibit of 87 photographs spanning much of the bottom level of the West Pavilion, and included a room where his commercials and music videos (Janet Jackson, Madonna, Chris Issak) were shown. While I’d heard of Herb Ritts over the years and recognized many of his photographs, it was fascinating to see it all in one collection and with a different context because of Bowen Smith’s lecture. Continue reading