Terry Richardson – fashion photographer or pornographer?

Terry Richardson is a New York fashion photographer who has worked for a number of major companies (Marc Jacobs, Aldo, Supreme, Sisley, Tom Ford, and Yves Saint Laurent) and a number of major fashion magazines ( Rolling Stone, GQ, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar, i-D, and Vice.). He has photographed a number of celebrities including the Beckham’s, Lady Gaga, and Miley Cyrus.

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He’s even photographed Barack Obama, although it’s pretty likely that Obama is not too happy about the association now.

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Regrets I’ve had a few

He has also published a book called Kibosh, a black, cloth bound monument to Richardson’s penis, which appears in most of the 358 images.

But now Terry Richardson is getting in the news quite a lot lately and for all the wrong reasons. Stories about his sexually predatory behaviour are beginning to multiply in the media. Richardson clearly seems to believe that a model who was prepared to pose for him is also prepared to have sex with him and be photographed during the act. He’s a powerful figure in the fashion industry and many young models have probably agreed, fearful that he will damage their employment opportunities.

There is a sufficient number of stories of Richardson’s unwanted sexual approaches to models to rule out the possibility of a conspiracy. There are also a number of models who are quite happy to partake in Richardson’s pornographic work. Their participation is now immortalised on the web as Richardson is a blatant self-promoter and exhibitionist

The problem is that Richardson is unable to distinguish between those who are willing and those who are not willing participants in his less than edifying work.

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An uncropped version of this is available on the Internet.

If you’re into crude and unedifying pornography, you can look at a representative sample. It’s pretty crass and you can imagine why models are distressed at finding they’ve been coerced into this type of photography and then finding it presented on the Internet.

Is Terry Richardson just a thoroughgoing scumbag? This photograph probably answers that question.

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Even Woody Allen looks embarrassed in his company.

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