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(CNN)   Famed photographer Herb Ritts dies at 50   ( divider line
    More: Sad  
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1900 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Dec 2002 at 12:02 PM (14 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

46 Comments     (+0 »)
2002-12-27 12:06:00 PM  
Can anyone post some of Ritts' work?
2002-12-27 12:06:45 PM  
Ha no on cares... 2 posts.. including me.
2002-12-27 12:09:45 PM  
this is sad. he was an amazing photographer....
2002-12-27 12:09:45 PM  
Directed the 'Wicked Game' video for Chris Isaak.

I got nuthin'....
2002-12-27 12:10:10 PM  
You know, in this day and age, there are very few people that can afford quality medical care and are in his age group that die of pneumonia alone. Can't they be honest about what caused the pneumonia? Please. It is a slap in the face to those who are honest about their HIV/AIDS status.
2002-12-27 12:12:03 PM  
I have to agree with Emily - When he is survived by his 'partner' - and dies of Pneumonia at 50...

Still sucks - his work was always top-notch.
2002-12-27 12:13:26 PM  
Here's one of Ritt's more famous photographs (Maybe NSFW).
2002-12-27 12:16:34 PM  
Coming from an aspiring photographer (that would be me) this is really sad. He did amazing work with the camera.

I also agree that the article unnecessarily tap danced around the fact that he died of aids.

He'll be missed.

Now on with the boobies.....
2002-12-27 12:17:12 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
2002-12-27 12:17:57 PM  
I may be going out on a limb here, but a 50 year old man in the arts dying of "complications due to pneumonia" sounds like a euphemism. Why not just say that he died of AIDS? This is why so many people think this disease is no longer a threat. Why someone dies as an indirect result of AIDS, it's almost always released as some other cause of death.

I am not certain if Herb Ritts was HIV positive, but if you do a search on his name and AIDS, it's pretty clear he was active in the community.

I am also not saying someone has a responibility to broadcast his cause of death, it's just frustrating that some people have so much pride/fear it actually extends to the grave.
2002-12-27 12:20:13 PM  
He didn't die of AIDS. He just ate a couple of bad weiners.
2002-12-27 12:20:18 PM  
shank, i think that's a great point. you, and now i, will likely get flamed for saying so.
2002-12-27 12:20:42 PM  
Um, did anyone read my post? Ok, thanks.
2002-12-27 12:21:41 PM  
Just sad...
2002-12-27 12:21:58 PM  
So do celebs and rich people die from "complications of pneumonia" and everyone else from "an AIDS related illness"?
2002-12-27 12:23:13 PM  
Ouroborus - Pretty much. My uncle died of AIDS, I guess he justn't wealthy enough to spin it well.
2002-12-27 12:23:40 PM  
Actually, its noones business what he died of but his own family and those directly affected (partner) by his condition. It should not be considered an insult to all those who suffer from HIV/AIDS. Its an insult to make an assumption or statement about an individuals medical condition without their approval. We should be sad at his untimely death rather than lament the fact that his wishes were to keep certain aspects of his lifestyle private.

Agreed, its perfectly clear what caused his death. Lets mourn the passing of a fine photographer and not his desire to deprive the world of a peek into his private life.
2002-12-27 12:27:24 PM  

Here's one of Herb Ritts lesser known, but more loved photos:

[image from too old to be available]

2002-12-27 12:27:35 PM  
I guess I am just sad that someone can claim to be an activist and then not be honest if and when it happens to themm I am not saying that he was not an amazing talent. There is no denying that. It really and truly scares me to think that people can't be honest about things and, as a result, others get hurt. That is all.
2002-12-27 12:27:44 PM  
I totally agree with Shootydog.
2002-12-27 12:29:20 PM  
Emilykp... Just because he wasn't 'honest' with you does not mean he wasn't honest with the people that matter.
2002-12-27 12:30:23 PM  
I guess I am just sad that someone can claim to be an activist and then not be honest if and when it happens to themm

Yeah, they should've asked his corpse to be more upfront about how he really died.
2002-12-27 12:31:17 PM  
Ritz had a job most could only dream of having, and he got paid to take photos of beautiful people. He will be missed.
2002-12-27 12:32:42 PM  
[image from too old to be available][image from too old to be available]
2002-12-27 12:32:43 PM  
too bad. he created some brilliant images.
whatever he might have died from, its a shame.

here's a funny Ritts shot
[image from too old to be available]
2002-12-27 12:33:05 PM  
Whoops, I meant no disrespect with the misspelling of his name, my bad, me being a dimwit is all.....
2002-12-27 12:33:08 PM  
We should be celebrating his life, not debating his death...
2002-12-27 12:33:25 PM  
Flyairdave, good point. But I think what sets folks like some posters here is that, if the article couldn't come out and say it, why? Arthur Ashe, Rock Hudson, Magic Johnson were all either prodded by the media into disclosure, if not outright outed. For CNN or any newsmedia to tiptoe around AIDS would be something of a reversal of a trend. Did they tiptoe because they want to turn over a new leaf, or because they're maintaining Ritts' policy of non-disclosure? Choice A seems unlikely, Choice B is the more likely, and more upsetting, option.
2002-12-27 12:34:39 PM  
That being said, I also agree with your more recent post, Flyairdave. I shall debate no more forever.
2002-12-27 12:35:16 PM  
Go to Google and do a image search of Herb Ritts to see lots of his work...
2002-12-27 12:35:47 PM  
here's some nsfw Ritts stuff
2002-12-27 12:36:01 PM  
TheBookPolice... In CNN's case, it was most likely an attempt to avoid a lawsuit. If he had not disclosed his actual illness, then they are better off not stating what they think.
2002-12-27 12:36:22 PM  
ahh crap... cut 'n' paste.. body_ritts.html
2002-12-27 12:37:31 PM  
"Died tragically rescuing his family from the wreakage of a destroyed sinking battleship"
2002-12-27 12:44:21 PM  
Ouroborus, You heard me, Coltrane....
2002-12-27 01:02:46 PM  
Maybe he did have AIDS. But what's written onto the death certificate is the disease process that killed him, and maybe a contributing factor. Pneumonia complications can kill all by their lonesome, but if the body is busy fighting something else it's more likely that you will succumb.

AIDS isn't a direct cause of death (although AIDS related complex can be), so no coroner/MD is going to place that in the death certificate.

[steps off soapbox]
Now a quiet moment for a wonderful artist. *sniff*
2002-12-27 01:36:53 PM  
AIDS absolutely is a direct cause of death. The reason some of us leave it off of the death certificate is to spare the family, who may or may not know, and to spare the dead public humiliation. Also, some morticians still flip out over dead AIDS victims and won't touch 'em even in this enlightened age.

The reasons it is left off are sociologic, not scientific.
2002-12-27 01:49:22 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
2002-12-27 01:53:55 PM  
Wow. That is a great photo. She looks just like Dietrich.
2002-12-27 02:12:28 PM  
Somewhere, Kevin Gilbert is smiling.

[get the reference, win a prize]

oh, Boobies, blah blah blah
2002-12-27 02:42:14 PM  
2002-12-27 02:42:49 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
2002-12-27 04:41:04 PM  
More of you have probably seen his work than you realize. Cindy Crawford - Playboy- July- 1988- I think.
2002-12-27 04:47:50 PM  
Cindy Crawford by Herb Ritts- October 1998, also.
2002-12-28 01:55:32 AM  
Which Kevin Gilbert? Whote House Fotog?

2002-12-28 01:56:47 AM  
Oops... White House Fotog?
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