A man from the angle of Terry Richardson

Terry Richardson

There are way more ques­tions than answers in the pho­to­graphs of this artist or, should we say, exhib­i­tion­ist. To begin with, many people slander his works and these pho­to­graphs are entitled as por­no­graphy, petty ama­teur­ish shots or a fet­ish of a man who likes to shoot him­self while fuck­ing whores. Females also take notice of humi­li­ation, per­versity of males and dis­crim­in­a­tion. I would simply like to say that all these state­ments are a con­sequence of stu­pid­ity and nar­row view, there­fore, I won’t bother to write about this anymore.

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There are a few really inter­est­ing aspects in the pho­to­graphs of Terry Richardson, and they need to be well pen­et­rated as well as understood:

  • Realistic emo­tions and exper­i­ences where both model and pho­to­grapher are pleased
  • A beauty of a woman from the per­spect­ive of a man, a search of woman’s masculinity
  • The irony of humanity
  • Power of life, sex and fer­vency against glam­our and haute couture

Pornography is an illu­sion. It’s a sim­u­lated and imper­son­ated moment which doesn’t exist, which is cre­ated only to give the edge to the ima­gin­a­tion and sat­is­fac­tion. All the moments Terry Richardson has shot are real, for this reason his pho­to­graphy can­not be named as por­no­graphy. Somehow mak­ing mod­els relax, enjoy the pro­cess and feel them­selves is prob­ably the main cap­ab­il­ity of the pho­to­grapher. Terry Richardson takes part in photo shoots per­son­ally, and he doesn’t hes­it­ate to take off his clothes either, mod­els are able to stand instead of pho­to­grapher, fan­tas­ize and take pho­tos. This is a huge part of his work. This moment is often inter­preted as a denial of a rela­tion between model and pho­to­grapher which was made-​up in this century.

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In my estim­a­tion, this imagery and artist’s philo­sophy may be related with trends of nud­ism and nat­ur­al­ism which take increas­ing import­ance in our every­day life. In addi­tion, it is inter­preted sep­ar­ately from erot­ica and per­ver­sions, emphas­iz­ing sim­pli­city, human­ity, relax­a­tion and the concept of going back to nature. On the other hand, it’s not dif­fi­cult to take a notice that Terry plays with sym­bols of out­rage, bru­tal­ity, irony and lust.

Terry him­self claims that people often find his pho­to­graphs too out­rageous and dis­cuss the notions of nor­mal­ity and abnor­mal­ity. But accord­ing to an artist, people tak­ing pho­tos of their mates, hid­ing them or var­nish­ing over their faces when put­ting a photo to the Internet are even freak­ier. Terry Richardson openly declares the things he does and enables an observer to accept the works just as he chooses. When some­body asked a ques­tion whether he doesn’t keep this kind of pho­to­graphs of him­self for pri­vacy, Terry became sur­prised and stated that as a pho­to­grapher he fix­ates people and that’s why he can’t come up with any reas­ons why he can’t fix­ate him­self. He never had an idea to hide his art­works – “<…>a pos­sib­il­ity for oth­ers to see my works is exactly the reason why I take pictures”.

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As art critic Olivier Zahm states, women in Terry Richardson pic­tures are depic­ted from the per­spect­ive in which men see or at least wish to see them. Photographer also seeks to por­tray mas­culin­ity of a woman. Terry Richardson also por­trayed shock­ing human­ity of such mod­els and celebrit­ies as Daniel Day Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Vincent Gallo, Tom Ford, Jay Z, Kanye West, Johnny Knoxville, Karl Lagerfeld, Pharrell Williams and oth­ers. In the pic­tures, they look like com­pletely dif­fer­ent per­sons: laid-​back and cap­tured by sat­is­fac­tion in a unique moment. Small details, for instance, a shot where hair on the breast is vis­ible remind us that it’s impossible to take con­trol over the life, that there’s an ele­mental and earth­bound human being behind the glam­or­ous shot. Honesty is the main ele­ment of this pho­to­graphy and it is highly debated, loathed and ques­tioned. However, I believe that this shock and dudgeon is simply a fea­ture of people who are accus­tomed to react­ing hast­ily to everything that’s even slightly dif­fer­ent from what they are used to see whether if these are homo­sexu­als, new sub­cul­ture or a denuded seg­ment of our every­day life.

I don’t see any­thing inap­pro­pri­ate if people mas­turb­ate while look­ing at me or my art­works, I am simply happy for that. – T. Richardson

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This style, por­trayal and present­a­tion dis­tin­guishes the pho­to­grapher from other artists in a whole industry of fash­ion. His works are highly val­ued and has a big­ger impact and influ­ence com­par­ing to glam­our or haute cou­ture pho­to­graphy. Artist cooper­ates with brands such as Gucci, Sisley, Miu Miu, Chloe, French Vogue, British Vogue, i-​D, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar & Purple. The main reason for his suc­cess is prob­ably that as a per­son Terry is just quite wacky. In such dynamic and unpre­dict­able field as the fash­ion industry which is always in demand of fresh sen­sa­tions this serves as an import­ant fea­ture, help­ing to find some­thing catchy, aston­ish­ing, out­rageous or some­thing to be savored once more.

Photography of Terry Richardson is often linked to his rough child­hood, vag­a­bond­age, plunging into alco­hol and con­stant down­hill, lastly, his struggle from the bot­tom which led him to a celebrity. Nowadays he can be proud of earn­ing a lot of money and doing what he enjoys the most. More inform­a­tion about this artist may be found here.

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Gintarė Žitkevičiūtė
About author:
Gintarė Žitkevičiūtė
Gintare Zitkeviciute is Art Pit’s thinker and doer. In her work practise, she values lean approach, creativity and quick decisions. She doesn't like working with random people and thinks that a team is a heart of successful project. For that reason, she carefully picks people she works with on everyday basis. She is mostly interested in innovatio... Read further >
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  • ซื้อของเทียม
    December 3, 2014
    2:10 pm

    It wasn’t until 1973 that homo­sexu­al­ity was offi­cially removed
    from the American Psychiatric Association’s list of
    men­tal dis­orders. Not only is reach­ing orgasm by them­selves dif­fi­cult, but not being able to cli­max dur­ing inter­course is even more frustrating.

    However it is not just the lack of sexual libido that is a fre­quent problem.