Terry Richardson

Terry Richardson is world-famous scandalous American photographer and video maker, the author of the 2010 Pirelli calendar and a member of the creative group Haus of Gaga by Lady Gaga. Richardson's works are autobiographical, everyday in its nature and are distinguished by provocative stories behind them, nudity and elements of pornography. His photographs provoke a controversial reaction but definitely imprint in the memory.

Terry Richardson was born in 1965 in New York in the family of the famous fashion photographer Bob Richardson and club dancer Norma Kessler. Terry's father was a drug addict and suffered from schizophrenia. At the age of 5, Terry's parents divorced and the child stayed with his mother. Future photographer grew up as a naughty and cruel child, constantly fighting with peers and missing his school classes. His mother even took him to a psychotherapist.

"I inherited schizophrenia, depression, anxiety and complex of Napoleon from my father, despite the fact that both of us are tall men.."

Richardson initially wanted to become a punk rock musician. He played bass guitar in "The Invisible Government" band and several other musical groups in Southern California for 4 years. At 17, he received his first camera as a present from his mother to photograph his life and the punk rock scene of Ojai. At the age of 27, he finally finished with music and began shooting young people at parties and other night life events of New York.
At the same time, he begins working as a photographer with his father. Soon their relationship was ruined by a dispute over Vibe magazine's job which Terry wanted to photograph on his own. As a result, it was this work that became the first reference point in Richardson's in the capacity of an independent photographer.

In 1994, Richardson was invited to photograph the Katharine Hamnett's spring-summer advertising campaign for the upcoming year. In this photo session, Richardson clearly manifested his own distinctive style — a provocative images with elements of pornography. At the photos, the models were dressed in short skirts that did not cover up their pubic hair. After the project, Terry moved to London to then work for European magazines as The Face, i-D and Arena.
"I started taking pictures at the age of eighteen. At that time, my father have already been homeless so I had to earn money. When he first saw my pictures, he yelled at me so much that I even threw my camera away and then did not shoot for the next seven years. Later I really regretted that I didn't, so many wonderful moments were missed. I think my father was jealous of me about photography, as I was doing things what he did not have the heart to do."
The world fame came to the photographer in 2001, when he created a provocative advertising campaign for Sisley company with a model Josie Maran. Terry photographed her drinking milk from a cow's udder. After this photo session, Richardson starts shooting for the most famous magazines and creates advertising campaigns using his already recognizable invariably frank style. He also proved to be a successful video maker shooting videos for Miley Cyrus ("Wrecking Ball" and "Do What U Want"), Lady Gaga, Beyoncé ("XO"), Sky Ferreira ("Red Lips ") and many other world-famous artists.

Not many photographers can boast of that number of shootings in their careers. Gucci, Chloe, Miu Miu, Lacoste, Sisley, Supreme, Hugo Boss, Costume National, Marc Jacobs, Aldo, Tom Ford, Yves Saint Laurent are just some of the companies that engaged Terry Richardson in their photo sessions. The photographer reveals his talent on the verge of fashion, eroticism and impetuous passion. His works have been featured in publications of such famous magazines as Rolling Stone, GQ, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, i-D and Vice.
We can't help mentioning the scandals going hand-in-hand with the photographer's name: various models reported his harassment and indecent behavior during the shootings. As a result, in 2014, the H&M and Equinox brands announced they refused using Richardson's services in future. These incidents, however, did not have a significant impact on Terry's career.
Despite the scandalous reputation, Terry Richardson remains an extremely successful commercial photographer and already released 13 photo albums of his photo works.
"I like being published in popular magazines, not in some pornographic ones. In porn magazines, you watch people fucking and fucking, they are so much the same. Fashion can also look the same. Yet I like being a subverter, reaching the limits in my work.

As for me, it is a kind of test of strength and ability to find the answer to the question: "How far can I go?" I like exploring the sexuality and inner world of people just by showing how people cum and fuck, no matter how much this shocks someone..."

Author Anna Laza
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