Herb Ritts: old-school glamour's last stand

Two Herb Ritts' Exhibitions in the Guardian

There is perhaps no better chronicle of the late 80s/early 90s supermodel era than the stark, natural-lit, black-and-white photography of Herb Ritts. With his statuesque shots of Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, and Christy Turlington, Ritts helped to create a glamorous celebrity aesthetic that defined much of the era. And though early-90s grunge put a dent in his ideal of the celebrity superstar, Ritts's work still maintains a distinct allure, and offers a fascinating reminder of a bygone pop cultural age.


Two exhibitions opening this month, Herb Ritts at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston and Herb Ritts: The Rock Portraits at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland form not only a retrospective of Ritts's work, but an era in which supermodels, movie stars, and rock stars were presented as almost Olympian figures - in some ways, a return to the old-school Hollywood glamour of the early celebrity era.

13 March 2015