April 12, 2017 - Bundeskunsthalle - Juergen Teller: Enjoy your life!
April 12, 2017


Juergen Teller, Self portrait, London 2015. © Juergen Teller.

Juergen Teller
Enjoy your life!
April 20–July 3, 2017

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Juergen Teller is one of the world’s most sought-after contemporary photographers. In 1986 he moved to London, where he began to work for trendy music and fashion magazines. His works are situated at the interface of art and advertising, and his stylistic device of choice is the portrait. Working in the areas of music, fashion and celebrities as well as everyday scenes and landscape, he draws on his intuitive feel for people, situations, milieus and clichés to create images of great immediacy and deceptive simplicity.

“Everything in a wide sense is a kind of self-portrait. It‘s just the way you see things and you‘re curious about certain things and just excited about them.”
‒Juergen Teller

His compositions often convey a sense of the incidental or even slapdash, but on closer inspection it becomes clear that they are very carefully staged. Implicit in many of his works is the purposeful breach of viewer expectations—Teller does not idealise, romanticise or prettify. Instead, his pictures aim for the very core of the subject and foreground the idea of imperfect beauty.

Rein Wolfs: “Juergen Teller’s photography is seductive and direct, aesthetic and real, often beautiful, sometimes deliberately ugly, but always a powerful statement about the impact of the contemporary.”

Distancing himself from the relentless glamour of fashion and people photography, Juergen Teller forged his own path, and by the mid-1990s his distinctive style had won him great acclaim. In his shoots for well-known fashion designers he placed actors, supermodels, pop stars and other celebrities in unexpected and often disturbing contexts, thus lifting them out of established visual codes and preconceived expectations.

Other groups and series of works are more autobiographical. These subjective documentations bear witness to the photographer’s engagement with his youth and his origins and upbringing. They are direct, truthful, occasionally humorous and always touching. Equally unsparing is the way he presents himself in staged yet strangely candid warts-and-all images. Teller examines the means of photography, the impact of the medium and its role as a mirror of society.

Enjoy your Life! was conceived by the Bundeskunsthalle (Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany), Bonn, and was previously shown at the Bundeskunsthalle and at the Galerie Rudolfinum in Prague.


Curator: Susanne Kleine
Director: Rein Wolfs
Managing Director: Bernhard Spies

Head of Corporate Communications/Press Officer: Sven Bergmann
T +49 228 9171 204 / presse [​at​] bundeskunsthalle.de

Supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.

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Enjoy your life!
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