Who’s got style? A look at Richard Kern and Herb Ritts
Shore Thang founder Zachary Elliot draws on the style of several, more well-known photographers. Both photographers noted below removed themselves from their work and focused on the subject, in stylized and objective ways. Zachary has worked with Lauren Burch, Ellie The Empress, Kashmir Snowdon-Jones, and lots of other notable influencers
Richard Kern is an American filmmaker, photographer, and underground artist known for his controversial and transgressive work. He was born on November 12, 1954, in North Carolina, and later moved to New York City, where he became involved in the downtown art scene.
Kern's photography and films often depict explicit sexual content, and he has been associated with the "Cinema of Transgression" movement that emerged in the 1980s. He has directed several independent films, including "Fingered," "Submit to Me Now," and "You Killed Me First." He has also published several books of his photography, including "New York Girls" and "Model Release."
Kern's work has been both celebrated and criticized for its provocative and sometimes disturbing subject matter. While some see his work as a bold challenge to societal norms and conventions, others view it as exploitative and misogynistic.
Richard Kern has collaborated with various artists, musicians, and performers throughout his career, both as a filmmaker and a photographer. Some notable individuals and groups he has worked with include:
- Lydia Lunch, a musician and performance artist, who appeared in several of Kern's films, including "Fingered" and "Submit to Me Now."
- Sonic Youth, an influential alternative rock band, for whom Kern directed several music videos, including "Death Valley '69" and "Kool Thing."
- Nick Zedd, a filmmaker and founder of the "Cinema of Transgression" movement, with whom Kern collaborated on several films and videos in the 1980s.
- David Wojnarowicz, a writer, artist, and activist, who collaborated with Kern on several multimedia projects, including the book "The Birth of Tragedy" and the video "Where Evil Dwells."
Kern has also worked with numerous models and performers in his photography, including Kembra Pfahler, Lung Leg, and Carla Gugino, among others. His work often features provocative and confrontational imagery, and he has been associated with the underground art and punk scenes of New York City.
Herb Ritts (1952-2002) was an American fashion photographer and director, best known for his iconic black-and-white portraits and images of celebrities, models, and other high-profile individuals.
Born in Los Angeles, Ritts began his career in the late 1970s, working as a freelance photographer for various magazines and advertising agencies. His breakthrough came in the 1980s, when he began shooting for prestigious publications such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Rolling Stone, and his work became highly sought after by fashion designers, celebrities, and advertisers.
Ritts was known for his minimalist and elegant style, often featuring his subjects in striking poses against stark backgrounds. He photographed numerous celebrities, including Madonna, Michael Jackson, Cindy Crawford, and Richard Gere, among many others. He also directed music videos for artists such as Madonna, Janet Jackson, and Chris Isaak.
Ritts received numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including the Council of Fashion Designers of America's Lifetime Achievement Award and a posthumous induction into the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His photographs continue to be widely celebrated and exhibited in galleries and museums around the world.
Herb Ritts worked with numerous high-profile individuals, fashion designers, and companies throughout his career as a photographer and director. Some notable collaborations include:
- Celebrities such as Madonna, Michael Jackson, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Richard Gere, and Elizabeth Taylor, among many others.
- Fashion designers and brands, including Calvin Klein, Versace, Armani, Chanel, and Valentino, among others.
- Music industry clients, including directing music videos for Madonna, Janet Jackson, Chris Isaak, and others.
- Advertising clients, such as Gap, Levi's, Revlon, and Pepsi, among others.
Ritts was known for his elegant and minimalistic style, which often featured his subjects in striking poses against stark backgrounds. His work continues to be celebrated and exhibited in galleries and museums around the world, and he is considered one of the most influential photographers of his time.