To say that Terry Richardson is controversial, is well, an understatement. Whether it’s his photographs for advertising campaigns and magazines with less than subtle sexual innuendos or his ‘free-spirited’ blog cataloguing his shoots, friends and travels (and dare we say, conquests), there’s beautiful work in there.
In a recent New York Times article discussing the career and persona of Terry, a journalist may or may not have seriously pissed off Jamie Peck, one of the two people who openly recounted a sexual encounter with Richardson during a shoot that left her remorseful and slightly shaken. In a counter piece written by the model, Jamie persists that the article is inaccurate and still predominately biased.
We really can’t make up our minds on this one. On the one hand, through centuries of art history and evolution, artists most likely cause havoc and ruffle some feathers with taboo topics or are frowned upon for leading explorations of religious topics, sexuality and cultural identity isn’t that what makes good art, well, good?
On the other hand, would you feel comfortable being in a studio (or having your sister, best friend or girlfriend for that matter) with Terry? Is his work overly provocative and in turn perpetuating the exploitation of women in general, but especially the young models who are thrust in front of him for a job?
And ultimately, how much is too much? Other Tumblrs share similar photography of the female and male form, so are we using Terry as a symbol for perhaps a much larger issue not only in the fashion industry, but really in our society?
We’re enjoying a healthy conversation here in the office about it. Take part in the poll below!