February 22, 2012

Terry Richardson Comes to L.A.

Art, Culture, Events, Local No Comments

Terrywood

Terry Richardson. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s a famous photographer. A famous photographer who a year ago was dubbed by the press as a complete and utter creep. Of course, there are creeps and then there are creeps. Those artsy types, they can be pretty damn creepy and stay harmless.

Former NakedCity: New York editor Jamie Peck made us question whether there was more to Richardson than just a harmless creep vibe when she recounted her experience modeling for him on The Goss:

The second time was the weird one. It was the end of my freshman year of college and my mom had just helped me move my stuff out of my dorm room, which I had one more day to vacate. I went straight downtown from there, thinking it would be more of the same, but it wasn’t. Uncle Terry [not her actual uncle, "Uncle Terry" is what he asked her to call him] was feeling frisky that day! I told him I had my period so I wanted to keep my underwear on, and he asked me to take my tampon out for him to play with. “I love tampons!” he said, in that psychotically upbeat way that temporarily convinces so many girls that what’s fun for Uncle Terry is fun for them. (I can just imagine him chirping, “Why don’t you wear these fairy wings while I fuck you in the ass? Wouldn’t that be like, so fun?” to some attenuated girl fresh off the boat from Eastern Europe. Either the man’s totally delusional, or he gets off on the fact that many of these things are not, in fact, very much fun for the girls.) I politely declined his offer to make tea out of my bloody cunt plug. It was then that he decided to just get naked.

[...] I’m not sure how he maneuvered me over to the couch, but at some point he strongly suggested I touch his terrifying penis. Who the heck specifically requests a handjob, that most unpopular of sex acts which, were we casting a sex act version of The Breakfast Club, would undoubtedly play the part intended for Anthony Michael Hall? I’ll tell you: high school boys and Terry Richardson. Not that I would’ve preferred him to request anything else, I’m just sayin’: if you ask for an H.J., you are aiming low with complete knowledge that the girl is not into it.

This is where I zoom out on the situation. I can remember doing this stuff, but even at the time, it was sort of like watching someone else do it, someone who couldn’t possibly be me because I would never touch a creepy photographer’s penis. The only explanation I can come up with is that he was so darn friendly and happy about it all, and his assistants were so stoked on it as well, that I didn’t want to be the killjoy in the room. My new fake friends would’ve been bummed if I’d said no.

While more than this account has surfaced, Richardson continues to work and exhibit his work. This month, he’s got a show here in Los Angeles for his first solo exhibition, which is kicking off this Friday and running until March 31 at OHWOW Gallery, 937 N. La Cienega Boulevard.

The exhibit, Terrywood, will feature some 25 of his latest photos, all inspired by Hollywood. OHWOW’s press release chirps:

Through a medium not typically understood as effective in translating an artist’s personality, Richardson manages to make his hand evident within his photographs. His identity is unmistakably present here, as if he created the very objects and scenes his camera captures.

We wonder if he made Hollywood’s signs and corners give him handjobs, too.

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