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In our humble opinion, Juergen Teller is responsible for everything that is awesome about fashion photography. Along with the fellow photogs like Wolfgang Tillmans, and later, Terry Richardson, he changed the ‘90s mood from unattainable glossy perfection to something a lot more real—and a lot more (crucially) fun.
While there’s no denying that this beer-drinking, football-loving German has a knack for shock and outrage, we love the fact that his work — whether it’s Kate Moss naked in a wheelbarrow or a snap of his adorable son Ed — is also honest, intimate, and endearing. And hey, anyone who can convince Victoria Beckham to sit legs akimbo in a large shopping bag has to be a genius, right?
This week, Teller's first major U.K. exhibition in what feels like ages, opens at the ICA. Woo spans the photographer’s career, from his infamous commercial collaborations with Mr. Jacobs to his portraits of Kurt Cobain to his snaps of a wet dog in Suffolk.
At the exhibition preview, Juergen told us that what links his work is curiosity: "I approach all my subjects in the same way, whether it's Vivienne Westwood or a hedge—you only live once and you've got to f*cking go out there and do what you need to do, find out what you need to find out," he explained, "all my work is about curiosity, I photographed my arse-hole because I was curious to know how it looks". And now we all know.
And what about coaxing VB to pose in those Marc Jacobs images? "Obviously it would have been a bad idea to turn up in Los Angeles with a shopping bag and to ask her to climb in...it was very important that she was laughing with us, so I explained to her the idea; that she is a product in the world of fashion, like perfume is, or a handbag. She is a product of her own making—and she went for it."
We had the pleasure of speaking to ICA director and Juergen’s long-time collaborator Gregor Muir to get the inside scoop...