In 20 years, Juergen Teller has become a byword for a pioneering photography that is raw, humorous, and always unexpected. In his editorial work and long-running campaigns for the likes of Marc Jacobs and Vivienne Westwood, he is constantly seeking out new and fresh ways to present familiar faces: Charlotte Rampling curling up to William Eggleston; Björk spewing squid ink pasta; Victoria Beckham stuck, legs-akimbo, in a carrier bag, to describe a small fraction of his now iconic photographs.
"Subjects include Charlotte Rampling curling up to William Eggleston, Björk spewing squid ink pasta and Victoria Beckham stuck legs-akimbo, in a carrier bag"
In his new book Woo!, the photographer and artist presents a smorgasbord of images from 20 years of image-making, including the meditative series Irene im Wald, a paean to his mother, and The Girl with the Broken Nose, shown at the Palazzo Reale in Milan in 2012. The inception of the book was an exhibition at the ICA’s Fox Reading Room earlier this year, in which Teller plastered the walls with images, creating an enormous collage of his life and work. The book is filled with similar juxtapositions: seminal portraits of the likes of Kate Moss, David Lynch and Arnold Schwarzenegger hold court with tender shots of his beloved son and mother, fashion advertising culled from magazines, and photos of the photographer himself, variously naked or wearing Bayern Munich shirts. By turns hypersexual, lyrical and often very funny, Woo! is a jubilant portrait of a fascinating career.
Text by Laura Allsop