Often, it was Herb Ritts who took the picture that now comes to mind when you think of your favorite rock star. Who could forget that seductive photo of Madonna or that powerful pose by Tina Turner? In a new exhibition starting June 24, the Chrysler Museum of Art will present Herb Ritts: The Rock Portraits. It will feature iconic portraits of the biggest names in music over the last 30 years including David Bowie, Tina Turner, Elton John, Prince, Madonna, Cher, Janet Jackson and Bruce Springsteen. Ritts took these intimate portraits for prestigious magazines such as Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair.
Interesting fact: Herb Ritts didn’t just shoot snapshots with his camera. He was one of the first still photographers who transitioned to directing music videos, like Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” and Janet Jackson’s “Love Will Never Do Without You.”
Sadly, Ritts, who was HIV positive, died of pneumonia in 2002 at the still young age of 50. The touring exhibition is presented by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in collaboration with the Herb Ritts Foundation. This is a must-see.
Above: Herb Ritts (American, 1952–2002) Madonna, Hollywood, 1986, From the True Blue album cover, Image © and courtesy of Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts (American, 1952–2002) David Bowie III, Los Angeles, 1987, Photographed for Rolling Stone Magazine, Image © and courtesy of Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts (American, 1952–2002) Cher, Los Angeles, 1990, Cover and story for Vanity Fair Magazine, November 1990, issue, Image © and courtesy of Herb Ritts Foundation
Herb Ritts (American, 1952–2002) Tina Turner, Hollywood, 1989, Foreign Affair album promotion, Image © and courtesy of Herb Ritts Foundation