The arguments in the case of the People v Terry Richardson have been rolling in steadily for a long time, but things have come to a head this year. (You can read a timeline of some of the allegations made against the photographer here).
Like any other high profile figure, particularly one in the creative worlds where the lines between sexuality, art, and predation are often thorny, Richardson too has his defenders. A lengthy feature in New York Magazine this week presents what you might call a balanced look at the controversial photographer’s career. Or, you could say, as the Guardian‘s Jessica Valenti described it: “MaybeTerry Richardson will lay off coercing girls now that he got such a huge BJ from NYMag.”
I don’t pretend to know whether or not the allegations against or defenses of Richardson in this piece and others before it are valid. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were. But there are a few things in the piece that I can say are unequivocally true. Here they are, out of context, and at random, but true nonetheless:
1) “It’s insane, the internet,” Richardson was saying. “Totally craziness. Like a little cancer. People can just do whatever they want, say whatever they want, be totally anonymous. It’s totally out of control.”
2) “A banana phone is always funny. C’mon, it’s fun. Oh, wow, I’m on the banana phone!”
3) “And he’s got a big dick.”
4) There’s something interrupted about Richardson.
5) In 2010, he published a pair of books,Mom/Dad, each focused on one parent (his father died in 2005, his mother in 2012) and both improbably tender in their portrayals.
6) *This article appears in the June 16, 2014 issue of New York Magazine.
7) “Irony’s good,” Richardson said.