20 Most Influential
HERB RITTS
self-portrait, 1998

Herb Ritts's work is provocative, striking, simple and beautiful. The usage of black-and-white film in all his work is distinguished. The blackest blacks are full of depth and tiny nuances. His composition is as much about the subject that fills the space as it is about the negative space. He has a remarkable ability to capture textures and incorporate them in the image to make it whole, whether it's skin, an octopus, sand, cracking clay on the skin or the dry earth of the Mojave Desert. The organic shapes of his nudes, along with the reflective quality of the skin, always glistening, is a modern look on a timeless theme - the body. His portraits capture a totally different moodÐthey are no longer about mystery, but quite the opposite. All of his subjects seem to be quite comfortable around him and allow him into their private world. They are very close up and personal. It is as if they want to share their worlds and their lives with him. And it shows in the intimacy and the intensity of the portraits. The way he captures the people behind the personalities is refreshing. I also really love the contrast in his work between extreme glamour and raw reality.

-Roxanne Lowit

RICHARD AVEDON
DAVID BAILEY
HENRI CARTIER-BRESSON
ROBERT FRANK
NAN GOLDIN
ANNIE LEIBOVITZ
JAY MAISEL
MARY ELLEN MARK
DUANE MICHALS
JAMES NACHTWEY
HELMUT NEWTON
ARNOLD NEWMAN
GORDON PARKS
IRVING PENN
PETE TURNER
EUGENE RICHARDS
SEBASTIÃO SALGADO
HERB RITTS
JERRY UELSMANN
ALBERT WATSON


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