CULTURE & ARTS
01/07/2013 07:52 am ET Updated Mar 09, 2013

Juergen Teller: Fame Laid Bare

Prudish types who believe elderly women should be wrapped up in a blanket and plonked in front of Downton Abbey had best avoid the ICA gallery in London. The exhibition there features three enormous photographs of the naked Vivienne Westwood, shot three years ago when the fashion designer was 68. In two of the images she reclines on an antique sofa which sets off her Tippex-white skin, and in one she sits legs akimbo, holding the camera with a smile and an exultant gaze, and exposing ginger pubes that chicly match her cushions.

Only one person could have taken this photograph -- Juergen Teller. The subject of this month's ICA show is showing me its floor plan over a mug of tea in his kitchen in the smart house he shares with his wife, gallerist Sadie Coles, just off Ladbroke Grove in west London. The mug bears the slogan "I [heart] My Dad", the surfaces boast a selection of cookery books, pictures by his two children, and a Jeremy Deller fridge magnet with the slogan "Bless this acid house". An avuncular German who celebrates his 49th birthday this month, Teller is stripped for action in a blue-T-shirt, trainers and skimpy running shorts. Only his enthusiastic sucking on a succession of cigarettes spoils the athletic effect.

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