Juergen Teller, Cerith (2011)
“Everything is permitted, as long as it is fantastic.” So were the famous words of eccentric Italian designer Carlo Mollino. It was perhaps in that spirit that photographer Juergen Teller entered Mollino’s old residence to photograph a controversial series of provocative photographs featuring model Kristen McMenamy. The photographs, frequently denounced as “pornographic” by critics, juxtapose a fading beauty with the aging home of a long-deceased designer frequently known for his erotic proclivities, bringing to the forefront themes of aging and beauty that make the pieces as compelling as they are edgy.
Juergen Teller, Casa Mollina No 5 (2011). All images via Lehman Maupin.
Teller is currently exhibiting these photos alongside two other series that highlight the interplay of age with sexuality, mortality, and domesticity at Lehmann Maupin’s Christie Street Gallery in New York. Taken as a whole, his three series on view; “Casa Mollino,” “Men and Women” (portraits), and “Keys to the House,” (a collection of photographs around his Suffolk home, featuring landscapes as well as family and friends).
Featuring photographs of Vivienne Westwood and William Eggleston alongside images of his own life, Teller creates dichotomies of existence, examining the processes of age alongside the dynamics of youth, the character of fame with the banalities and humor of everyday existence.