Kurt Cobain, Berlin, 1991 by Juergen Teller
About the Work
Early in his photography career, Juergen Teller was given an opportunity to tag along with a then-little-known band, Nirvana, while they toured Germany. Disenchanted by the nagging presence of the journalist he was accompanying, Teller hung back and allowed himself to fade to the background and warm up to the musicians. Eventually, he captured this shot of Kurt Cobain, hunched over his guitar with his face hidden by his hair—a perfect reflection of the lead singer and guitarist’s introverted nature.
About the Artist
Instead of editing out the grit, Juergen Teller’s images showcase the rawness that is rarely otherwise seen in his subject matter—models, celebrities, and other public figures—creating vulnerable compositions that straddle the line between fine art and commercial photography. His use of interesting camera angles and unlikely cropping methods is often unsuccessfully copied by others in the field, but his true genius is in his sensitive perception and the ability to capture a single moment. Whether he is photographing Kate Moss, Cindy Sherman, or an anonymous model who showed up on his doorstep, he offers a window into another world.
It’s impossible not to name drop when Juergen Teller is involved. His work has been seen in publications such as i-D, Vogue, Purple, and W. He has done major ad campaigns for the likes of Marc Jacobs, Comme des Garçons, and Helmut Lang, and album covers for Elton John, Elastica, and Hole.