In this photo two members of the Russian dissident punk group Pussy Riot testified before Congress, asking the body to add 16 officials to the list of Russian human rights violators facing US sanctions. The woman — Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (l) and Maria Alekhina (r) — was arrested in 2012 after an obscene actup in a Russian cathedral and then spent two years in prison.
At his invitation Tolokonnikova and her husband Pyotr Verzilov ended up in Terry Richardson’s studio, posing below. While none of us are surprised to see the couple get the Richardson treatment (thankfully fully clothed), it’s quite nauseating to see such a high-integrity couple and strong voice for feminism in the clutches of Terry Richardson’s vision of celebrity art and self-promotion.
As Death and Taxes writes, there is no reason to assume that Tolokonnikova understands the divisive nature of Richardson’s reputation as a fashion photographer. My own view of Richardson is long based on his lack of talent — not only his reputation as a sexual predator and purveyor of his big dick for public consumption. America has a way of pursuing mediocrity, fame and fortune.
Lady Gaga remains Richardson’s buddy and Pharrell Williams complimented Richardson at the recent CFDAs. That’s their right, but it doesn’t change the opinions of large numbers of fashion followers and insiders who find it particularly agregious that Terry Richardson would photograph such principled actors in the human rights drama as members of Pussy Riot and think he would get a pass. Not that he cares. Terry gets some free publicity and that’s all that matters. ~ Anne