Asked by rarely-there
Personally, yes. I do not like his work. That isn’t to say I am going to deny his success, though, as he is very successful at what he does. You can be successful and have people not like the work you create though, obviously. For me, Terry Richardson is a very vain photographer. He is very about himself rather than work, which is why you always see pictures of himself with his subjects with his thumb up and a shit eating grin on his face. He loves it. I guess to heighten his concept of self worth, I don’t know. I, obviously, have a different view on the process and meaning of what photography is compared to Terry Richardson, so some can say that my opinion is bullshit. I, on the contrary to Richardson’s approach, think that there can be stories told and things learned upon photographing someone, whereas he focuses on the vain stuff, such as looks. People gobble that up, because vanity is very prevalent in this day and age. Again, it is based on personal opinion. But aside from him being able to document people’s “sexiness” and make “sexy” photos of the sort, I do not see any talent that he really possess other than that. He completely disregards lighting, and for me, well, that’s a shame. Light sets mood and plays a large role in photographs for me, so his disregard for it (aside from the occasional back lighting with the sun) prevents me from having any real interest in his work. He recently was in a show with Stephen Shore and William Eggleston, whom all hail from the same approach of “straight” photography, but in terms of talents and the commentary that derived from the works, I think Richardson was out of place being in that show. Don’t get me wrong, he does have some sort of commentary, it just seems to be a gross one that doesn’t go beyond being sexually explicit. There’s nothing really intelligent or deep about that. And I think that’s very easy. I think it’s easy to document sex and have people hail it as powerful, because sex sells. But like I said, to each his own. I come from a very traditional school of thought when it comes to photography and what I like; I like things that are in depth and are more than just a punch line. Terry Richardson and his work seem to be just that, a punch line, and nothing more than that. Thus, I have my reservations about him, and I’d like to think they’re pretty fair, because I’m not just saying “Fuck Terry Richardson, he sucks” and just adding a quote like some people do to explain their stand points. I can put in my own words why I don’t like them, and I don’t think they’re that absurd. I have my reasons and I stand by them.