Juergen Teller

Born: Erlangen, Germany, 1964

Juergen Teller was born in Erlangen, Germany in 1964 where he grew up and began an apprenticeship as a bow-maker before attending the Fotodesign Academy of Munich in 1984. There, he developed his interest in photography and portraiture.

He left for London two years later to learn English and avoid the National Service. During that period he shot his first celebrity pictures with Kurt Cobain and Elton John. He met the designer Venetia Scott who opened him the doors to fashion and pushed him into working in that field. Soon after he began working with i-D Magazine.

Teller first caught people’s attention in 1996 when he shot a nude Kristen McMenamy for Süddeutsche Zeitung’s magazine cover.

“I depended heavily on the model’s personality; at least, I wanted to depend on this because I’m interested in personal reactions”

He worked on important ad campaigns for Helmut LangCalvin KleinComme des GarçonsMarc Jacobs, Stüssy, Hugo Boss, Yves St Laurent – for which he shot Kate Moss -, Louis Vuitton, Vivienne Westwood, Blumarine and Katherine Hamnett and his work has been featured in The Face Magazine, the American, French, English and Italian editions of Vogue Magazine, Another Magazine, Index, W Magazine, Self Service, 032c, Purple and finally Details Magazine, amongst many others.

In 2003 he was awarded the City Bank Prize.

He then came back to his first love and worked on album covers for musicians and singers amongst which Bjork and DJ Shadow.

He shot many models amongst which Winona Ryder, Sofia Coppola, Charlotte Rampling, Michael Stipe, Rufus Wainwright, Harmony Korine, and Roni Horn.

Teller has held many exhibitions – at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art in Paris, at the Galleria d’Arte Moderna in Bologna, at the Munchner Fotomuseum in Munich, at the Museum Folkwang in Essen, at the Frans Hals Museum in The Netherlands, at the Inverleith House in Edinburgh and at the Kunsthalle Mannheim to only name a few.

He today lives in London with his wife Sadie Coles and their son. He also has a daughter with his previous partner Venetia Scott.

Juergen Teller Biography

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Written by Marine Lazarus

Marine Lazarus, an Anglo-French photographer who moved to UK 3 years ago to study journalism at Brunel University in London. Marine is responsible for our Photographers Biographies section.

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