Terry Richardson vs Araki

Something occurred to me the other day, and it just popped into my head again.

I can’t help but wonder how much of Terry Richardson‘s persona is modelled on the Japanese photographer Araki Nobuyoshi?


Araki is (in)famous for photographing his entire life, including sex acts and his obsession with death and sex. He constantly documents everything and is also known for his drippingly luscious photographs of flowers – in other words, the sexual organs of plants.* He also sports a somewhat codified, eccentric and bizarre appearance (including some quirky facial hair).


Richardson seems like a later day version of Araki. Along with the possession of a singular sartorial vision (including quirky facial hair), rampant sexual themes in his work & general sexual infamy, he too is known for photographing his surroundings a lot. It was seeing once more his flower photographs featured in my last Richardson post that reminded me of my previous Richardson vs Araki wonderings.

But unlike Ariaki, he seems forced or posed. Even desperate. There’s nothing coming across as natural or fluid or relaxed. I feel like Ariaki is easily, almost offhandedly documenting his life, while Richardson is desperately performing his. The other difference is that apparently** Ariaki’s conquests are more willing.

Typed, possibly quite appropriately, with a little help from Nick Cave’s Easy Money.

* of course, he’s not alone there. For example, Robert Mapplethorpe’s flowers too, are delicious

** apparently



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