Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong presents Terry Richardson’s exhibition “Portraits”, a survey of the renowned fashion photographer’s work. This is Richardson’s forth solo exhibition with the gallery following his early shows in 1996 and 1999 and the 2015 exhibition “The Sacred and The Profane”, at Galerie Perrotin in Paris. This new exhibition presents two dozen photographs that span 20 years of Richardson’s career, from 1995 to 2015. The images range from his iconic fashion editorial work to personal series that may reveal an unapologetic look at the American cultural landscape. Also included are more spontaneous studio shots of his celebrity muses, captured in the sexy and raw esthetic that is specific to his famous Diary, a visual journal of the artist’s world. Richardson is a master of sprezzatura, a deliberately crafted carelessness, which he has employed in his work since first documenting the underground scene in the 90s, inspired by Larry Clark or Nan Goldin. Traditional photographic framing is replaced by Richardson’s signature dynamic spontaneity. The photographs bleed into the background of his studio, where one imagines a pageant of models, musicians, actors, and politicians. Amidst the sea of familiar strangers are portraits of Richardson’s father Bob, a famous fashion photographer himself, and his mother Annie, whose illness was documented by her son before her sad passing in 2012. The compromising aesthetic of Richardson’s camera is one of the most recognizable trends in fashion photography, and his willingness to expose himself to the same objectification he elicits from his models sets a tone of complicity that has allowed Richardson unprecedented access to the world’s most elite figures and the fantasies that surround them. A young Kate Moss kisses the televised face of Elvis Presley. Actor Dennis Hopper and rapper Lil Wayne blow smoke into the camera’s face. A leather-clad Liza Minnelli reprises her role in the 1972 film Cabaret. The late Amy Winehouse plays chanteuse with a chicken. At the fringes of the spectacle is a whiteface clown holding a fistful of balloons. He stares timidly at the camera, a gold wedding band around his finger and a crucifix painted on the balloon above his head. Unlike those posing in the photographs of Cindy Sherman, Richardson’s clown is not a self-portrait. Rather, he is a representative of a bygone generation, one whose role now seems relatively tame in face of the new American Vaudeville.
- Terry Richardson, Dennis Hopper, 1999 © 2015 Terry Richardson, All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Galerie Perrotin
- Terry Richardson, Gaga in the Garbage, 2010 © 2015 Terry Richardson, All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Galerie Perrotin
- Terry Richardson, FTW, 2004 © 2015 Terry Richardson, All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Galerie Perrotin
- Terry Richardson, Amy Winehouse, 2007 © 2015 Terry Richardson, All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Galerie Perrotin