Find your own way, break the rules. Juergen Teller offers i-D some life advice ahead of his WOO exhibition.
Click images to enlarge.
It’s a surprise to learn that ‘Woo’, an exhibition of Juergen Teller’s new and not so new but very iconic works at the ICA, marks the first time in ten years that his work has been exhibited in a large scale show in the UK. The German photographer, whose first published photograph was in i-D, has produced some of the most original, honest and famous pictures of his generation. Catching Björk’s loving look to her son, Kate Moss having a rest in a wheelbarrow and a wash and go puppy in a kitchen sink, his shots are joyfully genre-less, not taken for the sake of fashion or art, but to catch life and pinpoint love. A man and photographer of immense experience and success, i-D asked Juergen for some life lessons ahead of the big ICA gig, opening to the public this Wednesday.
What’s the greatest life lesson you’ve learnt? That life can give you a lot of pleasure. I know it’s hard, but after my Dad’s suicide, I try to be positive, try to do something with my life. It could have easily tipped the other way.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? Believe in yourself.
What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever been given? Don’t go to England not speaking the language, you will come back after three months being a loser.
If you could rewind time, what advice would you give your younger self? I can’t rewind time, things are moving forward.
Is there anyone you haven’t yet photographed, that you would like to and why? I would have liked to photograph my Dad.
What are your three rules to live by? I don’t have rules.
What advice would you give young photographers wishing to follow in your footsteps? I would advise them not to follow into my footsteps, because how can they? They have to find their own feet.
‘Woo’ at The ICA runs from 23rd January until 17th March 2013.
Text: Sarah Raphael
Pictures from left: Bjork and son, Iceland 1993; Vater und Sohn, Bubenreuth 2005; Kate Moss, No. 12, Gloucestershire 2010; Cat Smoking, Hydra 2012; Pettitoe, Suffolk 2011; Teenager, Suffolk 2010; Mother with Crocodile, Bubenreuth, 2002; Cerith, Suffolk 2011; The Keys to the House, No. 39, Suffolk 2010.