Terry Richardson, Fashion’s Punk Eye
If you’re into fashion, photography, or art, you have certainly known the work of Terry Richardson. And if you’re not into those things, you have no doubt still seen his work: he has become the ubiquitous go-to guy for anything a little bit edgy.
Even his look is edgy, a little bit of punk-meets-hipster. Richardson doesn’t go anywhere without his muttonchops, oversize black plastic glasses, Converse sneakers, jeans, and the untucked plaid shirt. The look has become iconic in itself; one photo of actress Chloë Sevigny of “American Horror Story” has her wearing fake muttonchops, red flannel, and those large glasses.
Richardson surrounds himself with famous friends. Besides Sevigny, he has worked extensively with Lady Gaga, Courtney Love and Oscar winner Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club”). “You’d find a line down the block to talk about how generous and warm and gracious he is,” Leto has said. Richardson makes a cameo appearance in Thirty Seconds to Mars’ video for “Hurricane”. Although he has worked with starlets like Lindsay Lohan and Megan Fox, he has tackled the big targets, too. No less a person than President Barack Obama has posed for Terry Richardson.
His work has appeared in the clothing of upscale brands Valentino and YSL, and the more mainstream brands of Target and H&M. His photography has been in Rolling Stone, GQ, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar and Vice, just to name the more noteworthy titles. He is also fond of publishing in lesser-known publications that are open to photographers who think outside the box.
More than anything, Richardson might go on to be best remembered for his work with Lady Gaga. They have collaborated on a New York Times-bestselling book, “Lady Gaga x Terry Richardson”, and the music video for Gaga’s 2013 single “Do What U Want”. They are reportedly in the works on a biographical film of Gaga’s life. She has said of his work, “Terry finds beauty in the most intricate and unassuming of places. His photography beckons the question over and over again: Should there ever be limitations in art?”
Right now, his best known work is the music video for Miley Cyrus’ hit single “Wrecking Ball”. The provocative video has been viewed more than 665 million times, making it one of the most successful music videos ever created, comparable to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. With covers and parodies from such cultural icons as “Weird Al” Yankovic and Ron Jeremy, the impact of the imagery is likely to reverberate for years to come.
Filed under: Photographers