Sunday, 17 January 2016

Terry Richardson's Portraits

Amy Winehouse looks like she's having fun with a rooster here shot in 2007
I realized that in the last few months I haven't been following up on including more doses of the arts in my life and tried to amend this by seeing photographer Terry Richardson's work in a show called "Portraits" that just started at Galerie Perrotin in Central.

Richardson is known as a fashion photographer, taking off-kilter pictures of models where the lighting is off or the poses look strange.

Terry Richardson is primarily a fashion photographer
He has shot for Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, and Yves Saint Laurent, and done work for magazines like Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, GQ, Harper's Bazaar and Vice.

I have to admit I'm not too familiar with Richardson's work, so I didn't know quite what to expect when I entered the gallery.

There are 24 images on show including three lifesize cut-outs where gallery goers can stick their heads in the holes provided and be a Terry Richardson portrait...

First there are the celebrity portraits, like "Dennis and Leo", which is Dennis Hopper in a baseball cap and a T-shirt with Leonardo di Caprio's face on it, or Lady Gaga in a leather trench coat and boots sitting in a garbage can.

There's Cindy Crawford spraying a bottle of champagne in the air against a background of the Hollywood sign, or Kate Moss supposedly unaware she is being photographed as she puts on lipstick with one hand, holding a lit cigarette in the other.

"Marilyn and his Father" photographed in 2014
"Amy Winehouse" is a fun portrait of the singer with a rooster. Is she singing to it or amused by the absurdity of the shoot? A curious portrait is with Marilyn Manson and his father, Hugh Angus Warner, both in makeup. It's endearing in a way, father and son, though kind of disturbing.

James Franco also wears makeup in one portrait, and one wonders why he agreed to do that, but is it because it's Richardson? In another Liza Minnelli seems to want to show she still has it, wearing a jacket falling off her shoulders, legs apart as she sits astride on a chair with thigh-high boots. Desperation or a woman who defies the ages?

Richardson shows some of his personal photographs too. "Mom Laughing" shows his mother Annie Lomax having a good laugh, almost topless and a cigarette in hand; she died in 2012 and her last days were documented by her son.

Meanwhile his portrait of his father, Bob Richardson, also a fashion photographer, is hardly spontaneous, but quietly assured.

"Mom Laughing", one of several portraits Richardson took of her
Some of the images were a display of excess, or people's inner desires to expose themselves is cranked open by Richardson.They are arresting images, but also unnerving, at least to me.

Terry Richardson "Portraits"
Galerie Perrotin
17/F, 50 Connaught Road Central
On now until February 20, 2016c

1 comment:

  1. Terry is also known for being creepy and is known to put his fame to his advantage with young models.

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