References to sex, drugs and rock’n'roll are the mainstay of fashion photography nowadays, but somebody had to think of it first. That man was Bob Richardson, whose “raw” images shocked magazine editors in the early ’60s, when models still wore white gloves and smiled like contented hausfraus in every picture. While Richardson’s acolytes like Bruce Weber, Peter Lindbergh and Steven Meisel went on to fame and fortune by imitating his style, the man himself flamed out, ending up homeless, drug addicted and insane, most of his work lost or destroyed.
His son, Terry Richardson, a fashion photographer in his own right known for a particularly pervy aesthetic, helped his father get back on his feet and assembled the material for this amazing new monograph before he died in 2005 at the age of 77.
Also included is the rough draft of Bob’s memoirs, in which he takes some of his more successful imitators to task. Of Meisel, a personal favorite of Anna Wintour, he sniffs, “Meisel is like Dick Avedon—without the dick.”
- — Jared Paul Stern