Last night, at the opening reception of Juergen Teller’s new exhibition at Lehmann Maupin on Chrystie Street, the artist stepped outside the gallery for a cigarette, a black overcoat with leopard lining draped over his shoulders.
“Oh God,” he said. “I’ll be happy when it’s over.”
Model Hannelore Knuts arrived, kissed Teller hello, and ventured inside where a crowd including Lily Cole, Cecilia Dean, Lorenzo Martone, Tim Blanks, and Stefano Tonchi (whose partner, David Maupin, is one of the gallery’s owners) were admiring photographs ranging from a nude blue-ish haired Kristen McMenamy, bony hips aloft, to blissful images of Sussex country life. But the most striking photographs were of Vivienne Westwood, reclining on a floral settee wearing nothing but a little necklace and a slick of lipstick to complement her creamy skin and copper-colored mane. She looks beautiful, calm, and confident, which made us wonder what the sitting was like.
“It was lovely,” said Teller, “in her house, on a Sunday evening. I’ve worked with her a long time, and I’m always amazed at how wonderful her skin is. She looks amazing and she’s, like, 70 now. She was 68 when I did the pictures a year and a half ago, and I was just curious about how she would look naked. If you think of naked pictures of old people, they’re all wrinkled – and they are not! So I like it a lot. And then when she said, ‘Okay, let’s do it,’ and she was sitting there I was thinking, ‘Oh my fucking hell, man!’ I didn’t quite expect it. So that was great!” Click through our slideshow to see this image (warning: NSFW) and more.