Terry Richardson is one of the most famous and simultaneously most outrageous fashion photographers today. He’s had photoshoots with the most famous magazines, models, and celebrities, from GQ, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Rolling Stone and Purple, to Beyonce, Giselle Bundchen, Lady Gaga and even Barack Obama! He directed the notorious Wrecking Ball video for young and reckless Miley Cirus, where his favorite sexually provocative style is completely in focus. Terry Richardson’s studio has been the place where many models god photographed, with their clothes on, or without. This is where the numerous accusations for alleged sexual abuse kept appearing over the years, but Richardson has never been charged with any crime.
Kate Moss hardly needs an explanation. She’s still modeling, but is already a fashion legend. It only seems appropriate to open a topless section of dedicated to Terry’s photography with a black and white shot of Kate.
Although dynamic and interesting to look at, and as a one day historical testimony, Richardson’s body of work consists of often recurring topics. He enjoys placing A-listers in ordinary situations, where he often uses disposable camera as well. A great portion of his work investigates human sexuality, the ideas, the concepts, the prejudices and the obscurity of what lies behind sex, where he portrays his subject completely nude, openly engaging in fake or real sexual acts, displaying the hidden corners of their bodies. Very frequently, his models are shot together with the photographer or alone, wearing his glasses, pretending to be Terry.
This photograph is actually a beautifully shot frame, if you can look past the boobs.
The flashing and topless trend continues even now. The photo above was taken in August 2014, at some truck stop. Besides the properly framed shot and the interesting line-up of trucks with a daring girl in front, contextually, this piece actually explores deeper problematics of American truck stations, often centers of prostitution and offences revolving around it.
This shot of Nettie Harris from 2012 suggests much more than just nakedness. She’s a strong woman, who stands for equality and girl power. The muscle flexing position is as much of a statement as the deliberate nudity. She’s naked, beautiful and free, but she’s hardly a sexual object.
The portrait shot of Jessie Andrews taken in Chateau Marmont in 2013 needs little description. It’s all about sex, alluding to at least two favorite positions, but the number on the door and the hand gesture of the model as well. She’s aware, through, and responsible for her act. She owns it.
Humor is always present in Terry Richardson’s photography, and it’s the focus in the Emily Ratajkowski topless shot made in January 2014. She ‘coyly’ covered her nipples with Terry stickers, gesturing his favorite ‘thumbs up’.
Nudity, when styled, allows a spectrum of phantasy to titillate the mind. In this beautiful color shot of Stella, all seems stages, from her very skimpy clothes, to her make up and reclining posture. She’s a punkish girl, a boyish impression, an innocent youth, with a hint of seductress.
By photographing nude people, Terry Richardson consciously questions our modern day beauty standards. These breasts appear pretty after the first glance, but looking more carefully we uncover a scar-looking tissue underneath, suggesting they may be fake. Are they still as beautiful as they were with the first look? And if so, does that justify the procedure?
Observing photography of Terry Richardson more carefully, we can uncover many referential shots, such as this one. Very classically erotic, this photograph of Robyn taken in 2012 evokes the golden era of Hollywood, divas at their peak, while the model bathes in the light of the flash, with her milky skin contrasting the rugged wooden floor. This half-nude is portrayed with the perfect balance of subtle, sensuality and sex appeal.
Everything started and now ends with a pair of breasts. They are the eternal obsession of men and women, seen from different angles. This photograph is titled Blue Flannel, taken in 2012, it depicts an anonymous pair of boobs, ‘staring’ at the observer, as if the photographer wants to convey - there you are! - in an open, vexing, pornographic and ironic way.
It is time for Rita Ora! Month of February 2016 brings an interesting shoot by the highly acclaimed fashion photographer – this being a second collaboration between the singer and Richardson. Rita Ora was part of another shoot with the photographer almost two years ago, when she visited his studio (be sure to check out the images above in the slider!)
This time, the artist with the most number-one singles in 2012 in the UK, reveals her skin for Lui Magazine. The image shows Ora in leather skirt and blouse with a huge smile on her face. What is more, the photograph seems to be depicting the exact imagery we have come accustomed to when it comes to Terry Richardson – sexual tension, humor, pop culture and celebrities. Seems only things missing are Richardson’s trademark glasses and thumbs up!
Featured image courtesy of Lui Magazine