Photography: Juergen Teller's on the right path with new show
Saturday 12 January 2013
He's famous for his photographs of Kate Moss in a wheelbarrow, Vivienne Westwood stark naked, and Victoria Beckham in a Marc Jacobs bag, but Juergen Teller's new show at London's ICA also shows a more personal side to the German fashion and art photographer. His most recent series of photographs, which he refers to as "a love letter" to his mother, show her in the local woods near to Teller's childhood home in Erlangen, Germany. "It was my mum's idea," says Teller. "I wanted to photograph the forest and she said, 'Can I come?' So we walked together and we chatted."
Titled Irene im Wald (2012), the ordinary-looking photographs of his mum, which have never been published before, show her walking through the trees or in a wigwam of cut branches and sitting on a bench. They will be mounted along one wall with an autobiographical text by Teller. He explains how his mum sent him £200 as he was desperate for money shortly after he arrived in London in 1986, which he then blew on Japanese sushi. He talks about his determination to succeed in London, his father's lack of faith in him and his subsequent suicide, and a TV series starring Nastassja Kinski who kisses a teacher in a wood, which fuelled his love of forests.
Teller was inspired to photograph the woods where he grew up after turning his lens on the Suffolk landscape a few years ago, where he and his art-dealer wife, Sadie Coles, with his two children Lola and Ed, rent a country house. "I had been going back to Germany and photographing the environment that is close to my childhood but I could never photograph the forest for some reason. Somehow, these landscape pictures in Suffolk opened up the trees in Germany for me."
This show will also include his fashion and commercial photography from the 1990s, as well as some family portraits from his book Keys to the House last year, including his daughter Lola wading out of a lake in 2010 with a shotgun in Suffolk on her birthday.
"I also wrote a love letter to my wife and family when I photographed our three-week holiday in Japan, which was published in my book, Ed in Japan," says Teller. "It's harder to photograph someone you know very well because they question your authority. My mum says, 'Why do you want me to sit here? Haven't you taken enough photographs?' My children will goof around doing silly faces but it is very rewarding because it brings you together. Rather than play backgammon, you can do something creative together."
Juergen Teller: Woo, ICA, London SW1 (ica.org.uk) 23 January to 17 March
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 2 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 3 George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
- 4 Lady al-Qa’ida: On the trail of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the world’s most wanted prisoner
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Strictly Come Dancing 2014: Gregg Wallace joins line-up as final celebrities revealed
Great British Bake Off 2014: Diana Beard quits after falling ill
Great British Bake Off 2014: Ofcom receives 13 complaints about Baked Alaska episode
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
Friends reunion: Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox perform mini sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
- < Previous
- Next >