Fortune: TellerSeptember 26th, 2009
“Art is anything you can get away with,” said Marshall McLuhan. That could mean a lot of things.
It could get us surveying how outlandish an object or gesture can go without leaving the province of art. Or it could be more about access, a way for the elite and endowed to utilize their exclusive resources. For example, Juergen Teller gets access to the world’s most visited museum, to a screen legend, and to a super-famous model. He went to the Louvre, and all you get are these grainy photos. He even gets to shoot with flash!
This is the show of the season, given that we are officially into autumn. What is autumn? Brown leaves? Whatever! only in Vermont. Jewish new year? Maybe, but then we also have Chinese New Year and Everyone-else New Year in January. Autumn in New York is Fashion Week! The papers report from the runways, Marc Jacobs is coronated again, and office PCs are tuned into style dot com.
Fittingly (no pun intended) the show of the season should be of, for, and by fashion! Hence, Juergen Teller welcomes us to Paradis, his fifth show at Lehmann Maupin Gallery. Herr Teller tours the Louvre with screen legend Charlotte Rampling and cover girl Raquel Zimmerman. Hot!
Actually, it looks chilly and boring. I’d rather join Godard and Ana Karina in Band of Outsiders, 1964 – the year Teller was born.
Instead of playing Snap the Whip, the famous women stand around, looking on. Never let them see you sweat.
Are they depressed? But it isn’t winter yet! Bored? No way, not at the Louvre! Maybe they simply know their own fabulosity, and so don’t have to demonstrate it through effusive body language. After all, Teller’s photographs “do not present a standard of beauty but are more akin to a tribute to women and the human form,” according to the gallery P.R. But that’s hard to swallow when we’re gazing at the #1 fashion model in the world, nude.
The press release also claims that Paradis blurs the distinction between his commercial and non-commercial work. Except that the work was originally commissioned for an elite French magazine and will have a third life in a limited-edition book currently in gestation. Ch-ching!