Artist: Juergen Teller
Title: Charlotte Rampling, a Fox, and a Plate No 15, Latimer road. London
Dimension: 50 x 32 cm approx
Technique: Photograph on paper
About the artist:
Juergen Teller (b. 1964, Erlangen, Germany) studied at the Bayerische Staatslehranstalt für Photographie in Munich, before moving to London in 1986.
His work has developed in the commercial and the art world since the beginning of his career in the late 80’s when shooting fashion campaigns for brands such as Celine, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs and Vivienne Westwood.
He has published thirty-nine artist books and exhibition catalogues since 1996, which blur the boundaries between his commissioned and personal work. He currently holds a Professorship of Photography at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste Nürnberg.
Teller was the recipient of the Citibank Photography Prize in association with thePhotographer’s Gallery, London in 2003. In 2007, he represented the Ukraine as one of five artists in the 52nd Venice Biennale. Teller has exhibited internationally, including solo shows at the Photographer’s Gallery, London (1998), Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2004), Foundation Cartier, Paris (2006), Kunsthalle Nürnberg, Germany (2009), Daelim Contemporary Art Museum, Seoul (2011), Dallas Contemporary, USA (2011), Institute of Contemporary Art, London (2013), Deste Foundation, Athens (2014), Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin (2015), Phillips, London (2015) and Bundeskunsthalle Bonn (2016) a.o.. Teller’s work is featured in numerous collections around the world, including the Centre Pompidou, Paris; International Center for Photography, New York; Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev; and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Juergen Teller lives and works in London.
What does this photograph say?
When suggesting an art work to a client, one that goes way beyond the need of just being decoration it is very important for me to understand the artist’s proposal, his/her consistency and the value that it brings in terms to its relevance.
If I like his/her body of work is not that relevant. If the case I will find the piece that I think represents the artist intentions and at the same time is attractive, powerful and telling.
This is what happened to me when I discovered Teller’s work in a gallery in Paris.
I did not like his work and still I don’t… most of it; however I recognize the tremendous consistency in his work and proposal, his interest in that raw presentation of vulnerability, one even may be tempted to say his constant interest in showing a sordid reality, one that one does neither want to see nor know; this intention is consistent with his decision of not using Photoshop presenting things, people, situations as they are.
However that is when contradiction comes and he understands we are beings full of contradictions.
A part of us do want to see that reality, even when brutal, obscene, crude, vulgar or tasteless. The thing is that he introduces it to us with an almost naïve eye as if he just discovered it and want to share it with us. There is not feeling of manipulation or control.
And it is that feeling of seeing things as they seem to be what is for me attractive and solid in his work.
This is why I feel fascination by this photograph of Charlotte Rampling and the fox. It is a work that seduces because of its dialogue of opposites: harshness/softness, rough/polish, human/animal, old/young, strength/vulnerability, loneliness/hope etc
Of course all these interpretations get enhanced by the power of the sitter and who she is.
It does not surprise us she has been Teller’s muse for around 20 years.
In what Room to place it?
I would suggest this photograph can be shown in any room of your house or flat, being this consequence of its enigmatic nature.
Portraits can be difficult pieces to live with as they are charged with the history of the person who is being portrayed. If there is not a personal connection with that person one may feel the presence of an intruder in our homes.
But this portrait is not about Charlotte Rampling, it is about something else, something we can easily feel related to.
Probably being consistent with Teller’s approach you may be tempted to hang this work without a frame, leaving it raw, exposed; however this is something, though tempting, I would not suggest for conservation reasons.
The creation of a box for it seems to be the best way of displaying it, no mounting, the photograph floating in the box. Frame in black
Being conscious of the high of the image, lighting and perspective is a must.