In 1971 Norman Mailer said that “giving a camera to Diane Arbus is like putting a live grenade in the hands of a child.” Lo and behold: Child With Hand Grenade. Even before her suicide that year, Arbus’ magnificent body of work evoked criticism and suspicion of exploitation. She was drawn to the so-called deviants, outsiders, marginalized people, glamorous transvestites, graceful giants, disturbed-looking children, circus performers and of course, twins and subjects with other birth eccentricities. Had she lived, Arbus would have been 89 years old today. In tribute, we’d like to present you with this brief survey of some of the most controversial photographers, contemporary and of recent yesteryear. … Read More
The Internet has been abuzz with news of the new (unofficial) Steve Jobs action figure due out in February, which is unnervingly life-like, and thus incredibly creepy. Plus, it may just be us, but we think action figure status should be reserved for superheroes and action stars, or even other characters from film and television — we think it’s pretty weird when they’re made for actual people. Of course, some celebrity action figures (we’re using the term loosely) are weirder than others, and we’ve collected several of the most bizarre for your perusal — whether their strangeness comes from concept, execution, or the fact that people bought a talking Ann Coulter doll, all of them kind of blow our minds. Click through to see (and, in some cases, buy!) our picks for the weirdest celebrity action figures out there, and let us know if we’ve missed your prized plaything in the comments. … Read More
Gaga has been a busy lady of late. Along with converting the entire fifth floor of Barneys into a gagalicious retail fantasyland for her little monsters, today also marks the release of LADY GAGA X TERRY RICHARDSON, a meaty photography book documenting the 10-month period in which Richardson was granted an all-access pass to the pop star’s life, following her from Lollapalooza to the Grammy Awards and photographing everything from the most intimate moments to the most theatrical. Many of the 350-odd photos are exactly what you might expect — backstage ribaldry, performance pics, mug shots with other celebs — but some, like images of a tearful Gaga post-show, took us by surprise.
As Gaga writes in the book’s introduction, “There is no moment too strange, no angle unflattering, no circumstance relying on blind artifice, and never a time that I feel embarrassed or unsafe. Awakened in me is a perverse liberation, inspiring me to feel that is okay to view yourself as hyper-human. This is how Terry views me. I am so real, he says, that I am unreal.” Well, we won’t say we’ve seen a completely different side of the superstar, but we’ve definitely fleshed out our vision, real or unreal. Click through to see a sneak peek at some of our favorite never-before-seen photos of Lady Gaga from the book, and let us know if you’ll be rushing out to get your own copy in the comments! … Read More
Halloween may be over, but that’s no excuse to limit yourself to being yourself. Yesterday, we spied the new cover of transversal style magazine Candy over at World of Wonder, and were fascinated (and delighted) to see Chloë Sevigny posing as photographer Terry Richardson. The shot got us to thinking about all the celebrities who’ve dressed up as one another in the past, whether in official capacity (photoshoots, biopics) or unofficial (Halloween, general ribaldry) and ranging from classy to hilarious to downright cruel. After all, celebrities want to dress up as Nicki Minaj for Halloween every year just as much as you and all of your friends do. Click through to giggle, gape and gulp at your favorite celebrities dressed up as, well, your favorite celebrities — and let us know whose costumes you dig in the comments. … Read More
Let’s start off with a warning. Terry Richardson took a photo of his mom topless, so you know what you’re in for. While the mere proximity of the New York City photographer/notorious sleazeball to any young thing sends an ominous sort of shiver down our spine, there’s something touching in these photos of his folks in Mom/Dad, recently published by Morel Books and spotted by ArtInfo. He’s still creepy-eyed Terry. Yet…
The photos of his Bohemian mom, smiling broadly among old people clutter, riding a bike, flipping the bird, grasping her son’s book, laughing happily as she throws back her cavernous breasts — there’s something sweet and joyous about it all. His father, the famous fashion photographer Bob Richardson, is a contrast. Pops is ever-encouraging, through his schizophrenia as he scribbles worried messages on his walls and even as he hugs his flannel-clad son doing his trash-can shtick. Peek into the other side of Terryworld in our gallery. … Read More
If Andy Warhol were still alive in 2011, tomorrow would be his 83rd birthday. Although he’s been gone for over 25 years now, it seems his influential pop sensibility only grows more relevant as the years go on. With that in mind, we’ve attempted to identify ten contemporary pop-culture phenomena that would entertain, fascinate, and delight one of art’s greatest enigmas. As with Warhol’s body of work, we love some of these people and things, while others simply frustrate us. Read through our list after the jump and let us know if you agree. … Read More
Here’s an interesting (albeit entirely unsurprising) pair: Lady Gaga and Terry Richardson. GalleyCat reports that the pop star and gay icon will team up with the hipster photographer and alleged über-perv for Lady Gaga, a book of photographs from a ten-month period between 2010 and 2011 when Richardson was given full access to… Read More
Visual culture compulsively self-regurgitates itself… In other words, everything is a remix. We’ve rounded up the most déjà vu-inspiring works from contemporary artists who have painted, sculpted and shot homages to their predecessors. From Banksy’s Warhol to Ron English’s double Magritte to something other than a shark pickled in formaldehyde in David Černý’s Damien Hirst redux, here are some adoring tributes, biting rebuttals and unsettling homages to art history’s greatest and most famous. Partially NSFW! … Read More
In case you haven’t heard, today is National Punch a Hipster Day. According to Facebook, almost 10,000 people attending — which sounds like bad news for 20-somethings on bikes wearing feather headdresses. Since we don’t condone violence and hope to dissuade you from wandering through Williamsburg or Silver Lake brandishing brass knuckles, we thought we’d draw your attention to ten famous hipsters who might make better targets. You know, if you have to punch anyone. Which you don’t. OK? … Read More
Actress, musician, and photographer Sasha Grey certainly didn’t take the traditional path to fame. Best known as one of the adult-film industry’s biggest banner names, Grey made a huge splash in the porn world almost immediately after filming her first scenes at the age of 18. Five years later, Grey has officially stepped away from the X-rated side of on-camera appearances, focusing instead on traditional acting, modeling, experimental music (with her band aTelecine), and photography. Along the way, she starred in Steven Soderbergh’s The Girlfriend Experience, picked up a recurring role on Entourage, posed for Terry Richardson, featured in videos by the Smashing Pumpkins and the Roots, and modeled for American Apparel.
In our exclusive interactive video interview, Grey discusses her debut photo book, Neü Sex&, her upcoming “black metal” film, the idea of porn as performance art, and what art form she wants to tackle next. … Read More