Juergen Teller’s photography is provocative and raw. His photographs often look snapsnot-like, although he received rigorous formal training at Munich’s Bayerische Staatslehranstalt für Photographie in the 1980s.
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Born in Erlangen, Germany in 1964, Teller moved to London in 1986. He found his first success in England shooting for magazines i-D and The Face. He has since successfully worked as both a commercial and fine art photographer, excelling in both fields. Teller has created innovative and sometimes challenging advertising campaigns for designers such as Yves Saint Laurent, Vivienne Westwood and Céline. In 2003, Teller himself posed naked for the designer Marc Jacobs’ campaign.
Whether commercial or personal, Teller’s work is often over-exposed and harshly lit as he shoots his subjects using two Contax G2 cameras with on-board flash, one in each hand. He never uses digital, and never retouches his images. They tend to be carefully staged, although never posed.
Photographing Kate Moss
He has taken several candid images of Kate Moss, often without make- up, lounging, laughing, and with cigarette in hand. He says of working with the supermodel, “she is a free spirit, she enjoys being photographed. We are both open-minded and enjoy each other’s company. I let her be her; I have ideas; she tries things out; we play around, we have fun taking photographs.”
Exhibitions and Awards
Teller was awarded the 1993 Photography Prize at Festival de la Mode, Monaco, and the 2003 Citibank Photography Prize in association with the Photographer’s Gallery. His work has been shown at Tate Modern, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. In 2007, Teller represented Ukraine at the 52nd Venice Biennale. The Institute of Contemporary Arts, London held a retrospective of the artist’s work in 2013. Teller lives and works in London.