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