Juergen Teller - Photographer
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Join Date: Oct 2005
IN CAMERA Juergen Teller
IN CAMERA: Juergen Teller
Penny Martin, Editor, SHOWstudio: There is an image in your current exhibition at Modern Art where you and your wife are pictured standing either side of an estate car, much in the way that Mrs and Mrs Andrews stand in front of their country estate in the Gainsborough painting.
Are you asserting yourself as the new society painter?
Juergen Teller: First of all, it's not an estate car. It's a Mercedes 500CL. It's for me the perfect family portrait where I've put everything: the car, the wife and the kid. It's a happy photograph. It's my state of mind.
Alison, New York: Why do you think you became a photographer?
Juergen Teller: I really don't know. If I think for a second, I guess I wanted to explore the world.
Pol, Barcelona: Why do you think you have been successful?
Juergen Teller: What is success? If you are content with yourself, then it's a success.
Tracey Emin, London: Dear Juergen, do you ever feel that you use people?
Juergen Teller: Of course I use people and people use me. That doesn't mean it's in a negative way whatsoever. As much as I use, I give. When other people use me, they give me something as well.
Wulan, Jakarta, Indonesia: In your opinion, does talent come from hard work or are you just born with it?
Juergen Teller: You are born with it. But you have to work hard on yourself.
Peter Bannan, Christchurch New Zealand: What most inspires you to press the shutter?
Juergen Teller: Strange question. I'm not really interested in the shutter.
Charles Warren, Rock Hill, South Carolina: Has Helmut Newton influenced your work?
Juergen Teller: Not really.
krasi genova, sofia, bulgaria: Are you competitive?
Juergen Teller: Yes.
cristina, america: Which painters have influenced you?
Juergen Teller: Many things influence me in life. I couldn't recall one particular painter.
Renee, Perth, Australia: What makes your photography art?
Juergen Teller: I don't know.
Lou Mensah - photographer, London: Juergen, do you find that your work is criticised more zealously now that your are positioning yourself as an art, rather than purely a fashion photographer?
Juergen Teller: I don't consider myself as an art photographer. Nor as a fashion photographer. I consider myself as a photographer who produces work. I am interested in many things. But your question has a point. People want to put everyone in one cupboard because it's easier for them to deal with.
Santiago Forero, Colombia (South America): Do you think you have been influenced by the work of Wolfgang Tillmans?
Juergen Teller: I like some of his work. Whenever I like somebody's work, whether it's a painting, a film, a book or whatever it might be, it has impact somehow deep in your psyche, or in yourself.
James Tregaskes, London, SW10: Do you have any message that you wish to communicate through your work?
Juergen Teller: To be yourself.
Abby Kirkwood, Sutton, England: Your work provokes extreme reactions. What makes you invite hostility towards you?
Juergen Teller: I don't think it's so extreme. I just try to do what I believe in.
nacho, Barcelona: Where do you see yourself within contemporary German photography?
Juergen Teller: I am not concerned about countries and borders.
lars, london: hallo juergen, sehnst sich du dich manchmal nach deutschland. (Hello Juergen, Do you sometimes feel a longing for Germany?
Juergen Teller: Of course I do. Whenever I miss it too much, I go. I go quite regularly.
Pino, Milano: Do you think there is any social value in your work? Does it benefit anyone?
Juergen Teller: I think there is. If it helps you to find your own individuality, which I always try to push within my work, free from any preconceptions, to try to find yourself. That's an extremely difficult thing to do for a lot of people.
jason evans, hove: who do you think you are kidding ?
Juergen Teller: **** off.
david pineda, london east: Does your status as a well known photographer make the challenges of your personal work more difficult to fulfill?
Juergen Teller: No it doesn't.
Anna Parker, Essex: Does politics have a place in fashion?
Juergen Teller: You can be politically aware whatever you do.
Angelica Maszil, Barcelona: Why have you decreased the amount of fashion editorial you publish?
Juergen Teller: Because I don't have so many ideas. Only when I have one I pursue and try to publish it.
Rachael OPP, London: Juergen, when conducting a fashion shoot do you prefer working with models or 'real people'?
Juergen Teller: It changes all the time. They are all real people to me.
ivan, new york: Which designer is the most enjoyable to work with?
Juergen Teller: Marc Jacobs and Helmut Lang.
Aaron Tan, Singapore: Why is it necessary to credit yourself at the bottom of every ad campaign?
Juergen Teller: Why not?
Kath, Australia: Do you find your ad work more satisfying or your personal work?
Juergen Teller: What do you think?
Mike , London: What's your day rate for a 'commercial shoot' like your Helmut lang or Marc Jacobs work?
Juergen Teller: You'll have to call my agent.
Nick Knight, London: Personally I believe what we all do as photographers is performance. With your last series of photos of you and Charlotte Rampling, the pictures were taken by someone else presumably under your direction. If you are relinquishing control through the lens you are therefore taking a step toward pure performance as both director & actor. Are you conscientious of this and can you be persuaded to go further and perform a piece for our webcams?
Juergen Teller: I am in complete control. People don't ask a filmmaker 'did you really shoot this film?' just because there was a cameraman? And Nick, I don't know what a webcam is. If you have any ideas, why don't we do something together?
Joelena, North Carolina: Why Charlotte Rampling?
Juergen Teller: I am an old friend of hers and I love her.
Terry Jones, i-D, London: What's your view of fatherhood?
Juergen Teller: My view of fatherhood? What do you mean? I am very happy and proud to be a father and I enjoy it very much.
Heather @ NYLON MAG, NYC: Hotel rooms are a constant setting for your A-list sitters. What do they add to your portraits?
Juergen Teller: Well, they are just in them.
Wong Kar-Wai, Shanghai / Hong Kong: As a film/advertising director I get 200% out of my cast supposedly! How do you as a photographer get your sitter's attention to detail as you would want it?
Juergen Teller: I am just there with them. Talk to them, engage with them, work with them, eat and drink with them, have a good time with them. Being involved with them and them with me.
christine, athens: Do you sleep with your models?
Juergen Teller: Yes, with all of them.
Simon Foxton, Western London: Hello Juergen, Why do you appear naked in so many of your pictures? Is this a statement about yourself or possibly about the representation of the body in photography? Do you dislike clothes or are you perhaps a little turned on by exposing yourself to such a large audience?
Juergen Teller: It's about being pure and honest. At certain moments, I didn't want to deal with what certain clothes mean. It helped me to be more direct. I am not turned on by exposing myself to an audience.
Nick Knight, London: How do you know if you have gone too far?
Juergen Teller: It hasn't happened yet because I wouldn't go to certain places where it's uncomfortable for myself or for the sitter. I am very concious of being responsible to myself and to others.
Scott Denton-Cardew, Portland: What is private for you?
Juergen Teller: That is private.
JOSE NUÑEZ, MADRID-SPAIN: Describe your relationship with Kate Moss.
Juergen Teller: She is a friend. We have known each other for about 15 years and have spent good times working and playing together.
faith bowman, chicago, il: Does your current photographic technique bear any resemblance to your formal training?
Juergen Teller: My formal training was very conservative. I spent two years in photo college, learning to work with a large, medium and 35mm camera, learnt how to develop black and white films and print colour and black and white. It was a solid education.
pat, mumbai india: What kind of cameras and lights do you use? We are students from india.
Juergen Teller: Contax G2 with a flash on top.
Thymaya Payne, Los Angeles California: In an era defined by the moving image, how do you see photography maintaining its relevance?
Juergen Teller: Is the moving image defining our era? I think photography remains as relevant. What are you talking about?
Miss Yau Kiu Chan, Hong Kong: How do you get away with just using compact cameras?
Juergen Teller: I get away as fast as I can!
Nico, Australia: Has taking photographs become easier in the digital age?
Juergen Teller: I don't know. I don't work digitally. Taking photographs has nothing to do with the medium.
Kate, Oregon: Do you ever feel obligated to be "Juergen Teller": are you trapped by your own career?
Juergen Teller: No.
Georgios Mavrikos, London: Do you ever feel insecure about the work you are producing?
Juergen Teller: Of course. At certain moments, if you are insecure, then it becomes exciting. You don't know where it's going. That's the interesting bit. You have to push yourself where it's unsafe. It's very exciting.
Boris, Deutschland: Hast Du schon einmal daran gedacht mit dem Fotografieren aufzuhören? (Have you ever considered quitting photography altogether?)
Juergen Teller: No. As long as I am excited about life. There needs to always be a reason why you take a picture in the first place. You have to think very hard before you want to take a photograph. There is always something in life that I want to explore.
jared, l.a., ca tx: Do you believe in Jesus?
Juergen Teller: Not really.
Mark, leeds: What advice do you have for young photographers, starting out in their careers?
Juergen Teller: You have to know why you want to take a picture in the first place. And that's a hell of a difficult question. If you don't know, don't start.
Sag mal Jürgen, was sagt denn eigentlich deine Mama zu deinen Sachen? (Tell me, Juergen, What does your Mum actually say about the subject of your work?) Dirk
Juergen Teller: Some things she likes. Somethings she has enormous problems with. But I try to discuss it as much as I can with her. But I don't expect her to fully understand everything about it. But if I can help, explaining it to her, that's a good thing.
Nobuyoshi Araki, Japan: I prefer to ask questions in person, so instead I am sending you my warmest regards.
Juergen Teller: Thank you. I am coming soon. Love
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