11
Sep
09

Nickey: Terry Richardson is a hack

Nickey Robo

Are you familiar with Terry Richardson? No? Well let me tell you a little bit about him. He is a photographer that makes every photo he takes look like it was shot in an abandoned apartment with a disposable camera. Wow, how artistic! He does a lot of magazine work, but he also does a lot of porn. Of course, I don’t think it supposed to be porn, I think it’s supposed to be art. Richardson seems to be from the Vice Magazine world view of privileged white dudes, where you act like being a misogynistic jerk makes you radical, because, gosh, aren’t we post-sexism? The whole world wants me to be PC so I’m going to talk about boobies and be different! My life is hard and I have no advantages, affirmative action is keeping me down! Because taking photos of traditionally attractive, thin white women in graphic sexual depictions is somehow supposed to be radical and boundary pushing when you call it art instead of pornography. Yet, these are the nearly identical images of women to what we see day in and day out, everywhere- so I have a hard time seeing anything particularly transgressive about Richardson’s bleakly overexposed representations of the status quo. I don’t really think he would have had such a successful career if he wasn’t taking photos of nekkid ladies.

Anyway, Terry Richardson has got my goat this week because he took this photo attempting to recreate the famous picture of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, instead using Sean Lennon and his model girlfriend, Kemp Muhl. The original photo, taken by Annie Liebovitz in 1981, is a really beautiful and immediate portrait of deep, egalitarian love. As you are probably not surprised, we here at Gay Condo really love Yoko Ono. In this picture she appears to be very at peace, and John’s posture and nudity illustrate how much he needs her, almost like a baby. And, ultimately, there’s nothing particularly sexual about this photo- obviously they are sexual people, but the purpose of this picture is definitely not to titillate anyone.

john-lennon-yoko-ono

And then we have the new picture… ugh, it just makes me want to gag.

sean-lennon-purple-terry-richardson

Really? REALLY? First of all, is that his boner? And rather than looking particularly in love, I feel like this photo might as well be saying “heyyyy, check out how hot my 22-year-old girlfriend is! SHWING! Tent pole!” And by swapping the gender roles from the original picture, they’ve managed to just make this look like sexist amateur porn. Great job, Terry! Vom.

Post-script: Jon wanted me to say that the series Terry Richardson did where he photographed men dressed as superheroes making out was pretty cool. I agree. If all his work was like that, I would like him a lot more.

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7 Responses to “Nickey: Terry Richardson is a hack”


  1. 1 gaycondo
    September 11, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    I agree 100% and I hate how he’s wearing a pukey mono-chromatic outfit.
    -Paul

  2. 2 Chris
    September 11, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Yes. IF the Sean pic wanted to be, ya know, NOT just porn,
    she would have been closer to him, ie. close LIKE they are in love,
    maybe…and obscuring her boobs, which aren’t the point of the
    JOHN Lennon pic. Notice, you don’t see John’s chest, he is wrapped
    on Yoko… BUT you see umm Kemp(?)’s. Coincidence? ahaa, Noooo.

  3. 3 Simone
    September 12, 2009 at 5:51 am

    A couple years ago Terry Richardson and his extremely young girlfriend were on the same jetblue shuttle with me at JFK (back before terminal 5 opened) and it was super gross. Do you remember those ads from maybe 6 months or a year ago for “Belvedere Vodka” that he shot, and the tag line was something like, “luxury reborn,” as if young rich (primarily white) people drinking fancy vodka and having sex is rebellious/shocking. UGH.
    I barf on you, Terry Richardson.

  4. September 13, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    Terry Richardson is the poor man’s (well upper middle class white man’s) Nan Goldin (my personal hero!) with a smattering of Larry Clark, never been a huge fan from his Interview days on.

  5. 5 Leslie
    September 18, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    I agree!!! That is insulting and UNORIGINAL!!!!!!!!!!!! I have always loved the John and Yoko pics. If you know about him, you understand his fetal position and how he clung to Yoko for she fully understood him in a world full of shittiness. She was his savior in many ways and he hers.

  6. 6 fatso
    December 16, 2009 at 1:14 am

    Lennon died in 1980….

  7. 7 Darko
    May 16, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    It’s not him, it’s you. You just don’t get him, which is fine, except you went on and called him a hack.

    It’s hard to make people like something, or even see the beauty in something, that they resent. Therefore I’m not going to try too hard to make you understand his pictures, but here’s my view on his work.

    What are his pics about?
    It all boils down to the niche of: making an arty version of porn.

    That’s it. If you don’t like porn, you are not going to like his pictures.
    If you approach them from a porn standpoint, and happen to like photography, then you will like his pictures.

    If I come over as arrogant, it’s because you well deserved it. You called a person who does what he likes a hack. You also accused him of calling his work art, led by the presumptious belief that you have the right and knowledge to define what art is.


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