" Terry World"
September 10 - October 2, 2004.
Deitch Gallery (212) 343-7300
76 Grand Street, NYC
IS THAT C*M ON YOUR FACE, or
am I just happy to see you?
By Troy Tolley
Initial impressions of
work might lead you to believe he is just a perverted
man with some hard up friends and an Instamatic,
but beyond the boobs, cocks, and jizm splatters
there is a message and a legitimate collection
of art. As deceitfully simple as Terry’s
art, his message is: GET OVER IT.
Terry has said that he wishes to push the limits
of nudity in mainstream magazines, increasing not
only our tolerance levels, but our acceptance levels,
and he avoids publications that are purely about
sex and getting off. His images may be reminiscent
of amateur porn, but there is a plan here; a genuine
effort to de-taboo-ize the grossness and messiness
of bodies and sexual contact.
Terry doesn’t preach through his images,
but instead leaves it up to the viewer to override
his or her own hang-ups about sexuality, intimacy,
body-image and fluids. His images have the potential
to force you, wincing, through the forest of your
own sexual anxieties and issues. There is a moment
when the viewer finally “groks” it,
returning to an adult form of innocence, relieved
of the judgments against the originally-intended
joy and playfulness of SEX.
As one observes the images
in Terry’s latest
exhibit, “Terry’s World”, (sprinkled
with hundreds of Teddy Bears framing Terry’s
own face) one can’t help but notice that
every single photo, regardless of its content,
is exuding a child-like expression of delight,
smiles, and laughter. There is no one “being
dirty”, no one being “perverted”,
and no one being “good or bad”; there
is only exploration, touch, exchange, and corny
poses. These are adult children, not because they
have never grown up, but because they have transcended
the confines of a terror we all-too-often disguise
In an age of mythic sexual diseases and epic conservative
constraints, Terry is a welcome breeze through
our self-imposed prisons.
on the web | www.terryrichardson.com