Juergen Teller’s Iconic Photography Career Comes to Life in Paris

“If you are curious, then you are alive,” Juergen Teller told W back in 2021. “Life is precious, and you’ve got to do the best you can with it. You can find everything boring, you can find everything negative, or you can jump in the cold water and take a risk.” Nowhere is this credo—which informs the prolific photographer’s nearly four-decade career—more evident than in his latest exhibition at the Grand Palais Éphémère in Paris. Teller, a frequent W magazine contributor whose work has become the blueprint for a generation of young photographers and artists, has mounted his biggest show yet at the sprawling museum on the Champs des Mars. Titled “i need to live,” the solo exhibition features over 800 of Teller’s signature oeuvre—one that pioneered pared-down, hyperrealistic fashion editorials, and still frames his celebrity subjects as everyday folks, capturing them in ways the public has never seen before.

The fashion component is strong in “i need to live”—fitting, as the exhibition was sponsored in part by Saint Laurent, which created a special line of merch for the show including pillows, t-shirts, plates, and more, adorned with images shot by Teller over the years. Iconic photographs from Marc Jacobs’s spring 2008 campaign featuring Victoria Beckham’s legs in a shopping bag, an unforgettable portrait of Yves Saint Laurent, and candid shots of models from Teller’s “Go-Sees” series can be found at the French museum. For those who want to bring more of Teller’s work home, the London-based creative is releasing a series of four new books including the exhibition catalogue, as well as what Teller calls “my most romantic project” The Myth, made in collaboration with his wife and creative partner Dovile Droyzyte during their journey to start a family together. Below, a sneak peek at “i need to live,” which opens December 16 and runs through January 9, 2024.

Björk and son. Iceland, 1993.

© Juergen Teller, All Rights Reserved

Go-Sees, Domenique. London, September 29, 1998.

© Juergen Teller, All Rights Reserved

Yves Saint Laurent. Paris, 2000.

© Juergen Teller, All Rights Reserved

Victoria Beckham, Legs, bag and shoes, Marc Jacobs campaign spring-summer 2008. Los Angeles, 2007.

© Juergen Teller, All Rights Reserved

© Juergen Teller, All Rights Reserved

Vivienne Westwood No.1. London, 2009.

© Juergen Teller, All Rights Reserved

Paradis XVIII. Musée du Louvre, Paris, 2009.

© Juergen Teller, All Rights Reserved

Freja Beha Erichsen, Saint Laurent spring-summer 2019 campaign. Lake Como, Italy, 2018.

© Juergen Teller, All Rights Reserved

Two women & two swans, Saint Laurent spring-summer 2019 campaign. Lake Como, Italy, 2018.

© Juergen Teller, All Rights Reserved

Agnès Varda No.1. Paris, 2018.

© Juergen Teller, All Rights Reserved

Alaato Jazyper, Saint Laurent fall-winter 2022 campaign. Le Lavandou, France, 2022.

© Juergen Teller, All Rights Reserved

Self-Portrait with pink shorts and balloons. Paris, 2017.

© Juergen Teller, All Rights Reserved