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AT FIRST SIGHT

ALLIE PISARRO-GRANT | DATE 10/13/2010

Deadpan and the Dead Pan

German photographer Juergen Teller (born 1964) is a major force in contemporary photography, having created a space in which to function between the traditionally polar genres of advertising photography and art photography. His photographs for Marc Jacobs grace the pages of Vogue each month as well as the walls of Lehmann Maupin Gallery in New York. His work has ushered in the popularity of a new, quirky, unpolished look for the world of fashion photography in advertising, creating striking, memorable images that set themselves apart from nearly every other page in a 600-page issue of Vogue.
Teller has always refused to separate the commercial fashion pictures and his autobiographical un-commissioned ‘artistic photography’ work, preferring them to live in the same world, and treating each with the same unwavering deadpan attitude. This new book from one of our most prolific contemporary photographers is as inclusive as the artist himself, and features family portraits, self-portraits, fashion shoots, celebrity portraits, still life photography and travel photography.
Calves & Thighs At First Sight
Above: Zimmermann No.27, Bubenreuth, 2008, by Juergen Teller, from Calves & Thighs

The word deadpan can be traced back to its first use in Vanity Fair in 1927, as a compound word derived from the word ‘dead’ and the slang word ‘pan’, meaning face. The Mirriam-Webster dictionary defines the adjective deadpan as “marked by an impassive matter-of-fact manner, style, or expression.” Juergen Teller’s photographs embody this affectation. In fact, it seems that for Teller, the camera itself is that “dead pan” – that unmoving, unanimated face that sees the world and captures it with candor. What humor and cadence does exist in the photographs is Teller’s magic brilliance, having delivered it to the viewer with what appears to be accidental, minimal effort. Rather, Teller is a master of his craft, with a passion for life in all of its oblique moments, finding beauty in the awkward and activity in the mundane.

Calves & Thighs At First Sight
Above: Vivienne Westwood No.3, London, 2009, by Juergen Teller, from Calves & Thighs

The book is dedicated to Teller's friend and agent Katy Baggott, 1970-2010.

Calves & Thighs At First Sight
Above: two photographs from the series '10 Days in Havana', 2010, by Juergen Teller, from Calves & Thighs

Calves & Thighs also features fantastic texts, including the intriguing "102 Questions for Juergen Teller," a result of Teller inviting friends and colleagues to submit questions for him to answer. Instead of responding to the questions his participants provided, he collects them here and leaves them unanswered, writing: "It was my intention to answer each of your questions, but in every single case you have made such a brilliant reflection of yourselves and our relationship that it fells that I have taken a new portrait of you."

Calves & Thighs At First Sight
Above: two photographs from the series '10 Days in Havana', 2010, by Juergen Teller, from Calves & Thighs

Calves & Thighs At First Sight
Above: two photographs from the series '10 Days in Havana', 2010, by Juergen Teller, from Calves & Thighs

Calves & Thighs At First Sight
Calves & Thighs At First Sight
Calves & Thighs At First Sight

Juergen Teller: Calves & Thighs

Juergen Teller: Calves & Thighs

TF Editores/D.A.P.
Flexi, 6.75 x 9.75 in. / 172 pgs / 98 color.