So, like the rest of the online art world, I’ve lost a fair amount of time reading recently reading all the different takes on the recent Terry Richardson shitstorm. To recap, it’s on Jezebel, The Gloss, NY Magazine, Conscientious, A Photo Editor, Hearty Magazine, Salon, and The Daily Beast, at the least. So, I won’t recap. If you want things the way I prefer to parse news (one article from each side), hit up the one from The Gloss and the one from The Daily Beast. For your summary, hit up Jezebel, which I hear started it. For criticism, APE and Conscientious remain my picks. For the opinion of this Midwestern artist, read on.
So, let’s start with the fact that I’m not a fashion dude. I like me some pretty girls in skimpy clothing as much as the next dude, maybe more, so the sexuality of fashion photography appeals to me. And the designer in me likes commercial snap, it’s true. But, I’m not often guilty of thinking of fashion photography as art. Some of it is, sure, but as a medium I usually file it as pornography’s more clean-cut brother. So, for instance, I’m not shy about thinking Dov Charney is kinda skeevy. Do I envy him his play and company? I’d be lying to say no. Do I think behavior like that is pretty damaging, unprofessional, and irreprehensible? Hell yes I do.
So, it’ll come as little surprise that I have similar views on Uncle Terry, here. I’m actually a little outraged by the defense of him that goes:
It could be a major shock: one of the magazine world’s most influential photographers, having gotten it on with numerous subjects.
But it wasn’t, first because everyone in fashion knows Terry Richardson, 44, messes around with the girls he photographs, and second because they know it directly from Terry.
-Jacob Bernstein, The Daily Beast.
*Blink* I’m sorry, what? Seriously? What? Where do you even start with how wrong that is? Here’s a clue: taking advantage of people is bad even if you are famous and especially if you’re known for it. If you’re known for it then it means that no one’s had the balls or common sense to point out even if it’s not per se illegal it’s still incredibly sleazy, immoral, and unprofessional. I’m sorry, I’m going to have to say that a reputation for it really doesn’t make it hunky-dory. I’ll grant you any woman who knows this reputation and later balks that she ended up among the tally probably isn’t entirely innocent here. And as much as I love Jamie Peck’s recounting of it, she could have brought an escort or left once Terry got freaky, that much is true. But, at the end of it all, what he does still isn’t right. It’s not.
Again, envious of his play? Who isn’t? But, the man isn’t in porn. Porn has a bit more integrity, I think. The girls are at least there for the same reason as the man with the dick in porn. Bah.