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Preview Juergen Teller’s Controversial Photographs

Just in time for New York Fashion Week, Juergen Teller, the German-born photographer most known for his cheeky refusal to keep his ad campaigns for designers like Helmut Lang, Yves Saint Laurent, Vivienne Westwood, and Marc Jacobs distinct from his most intimate, non-commissioned images, has an exciting new show opening at Lehmann Maupin. “I don’t really see it as commercial work when I do commercial work,” he has explained. “I see it more like… Let’s say somebody wants to do an independent film, right? They have to cast actresses and choose locations and all that. So I’m just using this stuff to create my own fantasies and dreams.”

The exhibition gives a prime sample of Teller’s no-holds-barred approach to picture-taking, which at times has lent his work an air of contention. Divided into three groups, the first series of Teller’s show features alluring portraits of Vivienne Westwood (wearing nothing but her fiery red mane) and photos of model Kristen McMenamy, which were controversial for their purportedly “pornographic” quality. The second set, Men and Women, depicts what some see as representations of the stages of masculinity — from coming-of-age to loss of virility — as contrasted with female power. The third grouping, Keys to the House, features intimate shots of friends and family as well as landscape photos taken at Teller’s home in Suffolk, UK. Click through our slideshow for a sample of photos from this bold, racy, and beautiful show.


JUERGEN TELLER. Kristen McMenamy 032c Casa Mollino No.3, Turin 2011, 2011. C-print 12 x 16 inches (image) 30.5 x 40.6 cm 13.78 x 17.72 x 1.26 inches (frame) 35 x 45 x 3.2 cm. Edition of 5. Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin

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