Have you seen the Juergen Teller exhibition Woo! at the ICA yet? The provocative German fashion photographer has taken over the London gallery with a huge variety of his work featuring blown-up prints of his portraits featuring everyone from a (naked) Dame Vivienne Westwood to supermodels Kate Moss, Lily Cole and Kristen McMenamy as well as his mother in Germany. There's also an image of himself (naked bien sur) and some cute, if quite dazzled, looking babies. It's a fine display of Teller's signature way of shooting with two cameras and multiple flashes in order to capture that bright, washed-out effect.
In the case of shooting Kate Moss reclining in a mucky old wheelbarrow, Juergen exclusively tells Grazia that the supermodel invited him to the country. ‘We were having a walk around the grounds when I saw the wheelbarrow and suddenly thought, “You should be in that wheelbarrow!”’ Did he have to persuade her? ‘I had to convince her, yes. I have a certain determination. It felt right visually – I’m interested in life and how people are in real life. I can be very cruel and humorous and serious and silly. I think I have a relatively wide range – but that’s how life is.’
Want to know more about the super snapper? Read on for five incredible facts...
1. Together with high-powered stylist (now a photographer herself) Venetia Scott, who was his partner at the time, Juergen Teller created a ‘realist’ style of photography that defined the ‘90’s – along with Corrine Day and later on, Terry Richardson.
2. These days he’s the other half of a different power couple, as he is married to art dealer and gallerist, Sadie Coles. One of the cute babies is his son with Coles, he also has a 15 year old daughter with Scott.
3. Now he rarely shoots fashion editorial for magazines, focusing on portraits, for the likes of W Magazine. However three top fashion brands; Helmut Lang, Marc Jacobs and Vivienne Westwood have returned to Teller season after season for their campaigns, so you never have to look hard to see one of his iconic fashion images.
4. Somehow, Juergen convinced Victoria Beckham to climb into an enormous shopping bag and pose with only her legs visible, poking out of the top, for a Marc Jacobs campaign. What made him think of it? ‘Before I met her, I’d always seen paparazzi shots of her,’ he tells Grazia. ‘And it looked like she had no sense of humour, like she was pissed off. But she’s really funny and doesn’t take herself so seriously, and that’s how I wanted to show her.’ He also wanted to make a point. ‘What sells are products,’ he adds. ‘And I thought, “Well, you’re just a product too and I want you to be like a product in this bag.”’
5. Not many people know this: an issue of the niche design and art magazine 032c was once removed from shops due to a Teller image inside. The offending photo was of supermodel and Teller muse, Kirsten McMenamy, revealing her bottom – without any pants on!