Raquel Zimmermann and Charlotte Rampling roamed the Louvre at night, stark naked, for photographer Juergen Teller’s ‘Paradis’ series, now exhibiting at Johann König in Berlin.
German born Juergen Teller discovered photography after a bow-making apprenticeship was cut short by an allergic reaction to wood shavings. His photography possesses the same ‘as if by accident’, spontaneous quality, and a purity that is rare in fashion photography – a field the art world are keen to steal him from. And he gives them cause, photographing a living, breathing ‘nude’ (an artistic subject long before a fashion or photography subject) alongside some of the most historic pieces of art in the world. Zimmermann and Rampling act as real-time art works, contrasted by such iconic pieces as the Mona Lisa, opening up the debate of where does art end and fashion photography begin?
To walk around the Louvre at night with no clothes on must be one of the Top 10 thrills to experience before you die, a privilege facilitated by the publisher and creative director of Paradis magazine, Thomas Lenthal (where Teller’s series was first published in 2009, hence the series’ name ‘Paradis’). Creator of some of the most iconic i-D winks, including Kristen McMenamy, Christy Turlington and Raquel Zimmermann, Teller has photographed at least Lara Stone, Lily Cole and Vivienne Westwood in the nude. Similarly to his 2010 exhibition ‘Calves and Thighs‘, ‘Paradis’ presents the naked form in the most unobtrusive and relaxed manner imaginable; almost as if a photographer was never there; as if it’s just a real scene that we’ve somehow been given privileged access to.
‘Paradis’ at Johann König Gallery, Berlin runs from 15 – 29 January 2011