Juergen Teller: Woo
Being a fan of Juergen Teller’s photography, I was so excited to see that there was an exhibit of his work at the ICA Gallery in London. What is most interesting about his photography is that it seems more ‘fine-art’ than fashion imagery. It breaks the rules of conventional fashion photography and has a real documentary style to it. It is refreshing to see some reality in a fashion world which is full of artifice and fakery.
I concentrated mainly on Teller’s fashion editorial work, as this is the type of photography that interests me most. I am writing about Teller’s photography in my dissertation and how this type of photography fits within fashion photography. It was really helpful and inspirational to see a collection of Teller’s work in an exhibition like this. The room which interested me most was the lower gallery space in which displayed Teller’s editorial photographs.
Amongst the display of Teller’s photographs was the iconic image of Kate Moss in a wheelbarrow and the controversial Marc Jacobs’ campaign featuring Victoria Beckham (above image). Much of Teller’s work has seemed to have received a negative reaction from the public, as I was able to see in a book of literature concerning Teller’s weekly column in Die Zeit magazine. I flicked through this book to see endless letters of complaint in which people labelled his work as inappropriate, sexist and voyeuristic. Many people threatened to end their subscription to the magazine and found Teller’s images totally ‘out-of-place’ in a fashion context. These images are such a contrast to conventional fashion imagery and many people seem offended by this.
Teller seems to photograph models and celebrities differently to how many other photographers do. These images have a greater sense of reality about them, which is not normally seen in fashion photography. He manages to capture part of the model’s personality and each image has a story to tell.
References: Exhibition – Juergen Teller: Woo! 23 January 2013 – 17 March 2013. Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, London.