Like any good photo-loving denizen of the five boroughs, whenever a big photo show opens, I feel a need to go. It's not really desire to see something new, it's more that I'll feel guilty if I don't go, and sometimes this guilt and shame overcomes my crippling laziness. So, when the Journal announced that Juergen Teller was having a show of some of his new work, entitled Irene im Wald, at their tiny Williamsburg gallery space, I decided I’d ride my bike ten blocks and check it out.
On the way there, I had many questions: Would my dude Juergen be there himself? Would the beer be cold? How many children under the age of ten who dressed better than me would be there? Upon arrival, I quickly found my answers to be, in order, no, no, and a shit-ton.
I got there an hour after the doors opened, and the place was packed. Lots of leather jackets, white people, and babes in leather jackets, many of them white. Also, the aforementioned sharply dressed preteens. Said beer was warm and foamy, but also free. I stood around outside and as the time went on, more people showed up, though I’m not sure how many actually spent time looking at the work and how many just got a beer and went directly back to hanging out on the street. I was an especially big fan of the mechanic working directly next door the gallery who had his doors wide open, fixing cars at 10 PM while his little terrier ran around.
I suppose I should talk about the art. As you can see from the pictures, it’s patented Juergen stuff. Ubiquitous flash, lots of brown tones, and somewhat suspect selection. This series is a new thing he’s working on and a step away from fashion photography: He basically walks around the woods with his mother and snaps photos of leaves and trees and logs and old people. What I wasn’t expecting was the text that accompanied some of the images on each of the three walls, telling short anecdotes from Juergen’s life, like about almost being robbed or buying his mother a cruise (check you out, Juergen!). It’s one of the more mom-centric art shows I’ve been to in a while. It definitely didn’t blow my mind or change my opinion of Juergen, who I’ve always been pretty ambivalent on (I'm too lazy to have strong opinions), but it’s worth a cruise by if you’re in the area.