Featured Artist: Terry Richardson

Terry Richardson is that rare sort of artist who inspires as much debate as his work: he seems to be one of the most outlandish individuals walking the earth today. This “American original” was born in New York to fashion photographer Bob Richardson, but grew up in Hollywood, where he started shooting while still in high school. He shoots using a kind of snapshot aesthetic befitting his candid personality and, though his work has been featured in such publications as Vogue, i-D, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, and Purple, Richardson seems to remain under the radar.Too, he’s faced many accusations of lude conduct due to his photographic approach and appeal. Richardson’s style does seem to put his models–both male and female–in very precarious positions. Often nude (and pushing creepy), his style is polarizing to say the least. Primarily working with a little Sav-On brand film, point-and-shoot camera, he embodies what I believe a photographer to be. For me at least, the tool in the artist’s hand is completely irrelevant compared to the hands that tool is in. There’s something to be said for a guy who scores big-dollar contracts only to arrive with his pocket cam.

To me, Richardson embodies a freedom that most artist strive for, all the while trying to hold ever so tightly to the coat-tails of corporate America reaching for that almighty dollar. But he hangs onto no one. Rather, he’s done exactly what he wanted, and let the market find him. I’m glad they did. As long as he doesn’t stop being his slightly creepy, free-spirited self, I don’t think any of us will stop watching him.

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