Terry Richardson knows how to throw a party. Last night he opened “Terrywood,” his quasi-homage to all things Hollywood—and himself—at L.A.’s OHWOW Gallery. Far from the Zegna-suited, Pomellato jewelry-draped Gagosian crowd of Thursday night, Mr. Richardson attracted hordes of the tragically hip, folks more likely to be seen shopping vintage than Bergdorf’s.
The Observer arrived late—thinking this would not be anything more than your standard opening, crowd-wise. But we were wrong: Mr. Richardson’s followers came out in droves—more than 1,000 fans lined La Cienega Boulevard, eager to get into OHWOW. The majority did not.
Inside, it was like a frat house kegger—everyone was trying to get in and get to the beer—but the beer, here, was Mr. Richardson, who was holding court in the back room, in front of a strobe light-enhanced photograph of Hollywood’s ultimate love/hate relationship, the one with the paparazzi. Mr. Richardson’s fans seemed borderline fanatical, all craning to get a look at the lumberjack-shirted icon who most of the time was surrounded by women, including former Boardwalk Empire star Paz de la Huerta.
The exhibition consists of about 20 photographs depicting scenes of Hollywood—from a business sign displaying the word ‘nude’ to Richardson’s most engrossing undertaking for this show—an enormous collage of every star on the Walk of Fame; he photographed them over the course of four long evenings. “I think it’s Terry’s perverse interpretation [of Hollywood]—he really doesn’t have any boundaries,” said L.A. artist Tim Biskup. “But there’s not as much nudity as I was expecting. The work is really cleverly ironic.” Case in point? Barreling down the center of the gallery is a series of what at first appear to be Oscar statuettes but that, on closer inspection, turn out to be miniatures of the man himself, signature glasses in place, thumbs up and lacking genitalia—just like Mr. Oscar!
Lanky young nymphs, perhaps hoping to be Mr. Richardson’s next muse, stood around looking chronically unhappy, but at least they looked good—apparently the outfit of choice for the evening was black leather hot pants, as more than a dozen women adopted this look with a dash of matte red lipstick. On the men, it was the battle of the brims—there were more baseball caps than at a Dodger’s game. Those sans cap had opted for the Johnny Depp persona, complete with scuffed fedora and unevenly trimmed beard—the ever-versatile James Franco managed to meld baseball cap and Depp beard looks. Gazing around at this sea of well-wishers, Mr. Biskup, the artist, added: “This is a total exaggeration of the Hollywood crowd; it fits his work—he goes to the places that are the most happening and then finds the most extreme version of that.”
Afterward, OHWOW hosted a dinner for 200 at Chateau Marmont, in honor of Mr. Richardson. As The Observer walked in at 9:45 (the party started at 9:30) Jared Leto was on his way out (maybe he’d had his fill of Mr. Richardson—they’d been spotted together at three New York Fashion Week bashes just two weeks ago: L’Wren Scott’s, Rodarte’s and Marc Jacobs). Inside, soon-to-be-Elizabeth-Taylor-in-a-Lifetime-movie actress Lindsay Lohan could be seen, apparently accompanied by a glum looking mama Dina, who was nearby in matching platinum hair. Meanwhile, outside, Pam Anderson was surrounded by a chain-smoking crowd, in a scene that looked like the vestiges of a Paper magazine shoot circa 1995.
One well known collector—who wished to remain anonymous—referred to the show as “Terry the Terrible,” and it seemed a fairly accurate assessment; Mr. Richardson truly is the ultimate enfant terrible, unafraid to show the real Hollywood, warts and all.
Attendees: Benedikt Taschen, China Chow, Jared Leto, James Franco, Jeffrey Deitch, Patrick Hoelck, Kat Von D, Tom Ford, Paris Hilton, Nicky Hilton, Tom Ford, every hipster from Silverlake/Echo Park.
Celebrity Quotient: Mid to Weird (Ron Jeremy)
Collector Quotient: Low (many collectors were in during the day, prior to the opening; only a few braved this crowd).