A Call to Arms against Photographer Terry Richardson
Terry Richardson has got to be one of the most controversial photographers enjoying current popularity. The irony of this, though, is that many would argue his work is neither boundary pushing, nor worthy of any particular acclaim for its aesthetics.
The techniques are simple (ring flashes and over-exposed snapshot aesthetics) and the subject matter is crass without any real artistry.
Supposedly, he is transgressive / progressive for the over-sexualisation of his subjects. He once reportedly photographed a woman, in a rubbish bin, giving him a blowjob, wearing a tiara that read “slut”. But objectifying young women is no new phenomenon. It’s not boundary pushing or particularly clever… it’s been done, and done, and done.. And we’re all pretty ready to see the back of it.
You’ve all seen his recent series with Miley Cyrus, right? Obvious, vulgar and tasteless…
Added to this, besides the reports that he’s really quite weird and creepy (model Jamie Peck, 19 years old at the time, has claimed he asked her to remove her tampon so that he could play with it), there are also countless allegations of sexual assault and misconduct, some supposedly involving minors.
As the New York Magazine article states, he is reported to have done everything from molesting young, foreign models; asking his subjects to “play with themselves” or with him, right through to taking photographs of inebriated women in “nude or near-sex acts.”
A petition has been launched on Change.org asking big brands to stop working with Richardson. As it appears that none of the allegations against him have been taken seriously enough to land him in court, it has fallen to other people to try and ensure he is no longer allowed the fame and freedom he currently enjoys. And, it would seem, that one of the only ways of doing this is to get the likes of Vogue, H&M, Mango and Supreme to stop commissioning him.