1Ron Gallela was obsessed with Jackie O.
Ron Galella is considered the granddaddy of all paparazzi but began his career as a photographer for the Air Force in the 1950s. Once he started taking pictures of celebrities, he quickly became obsessed. One of his longest fixations was his "muse," Jackie Onassis. Due to his relentless pursuit of the former First Lady in the streets of New York, he was eventually ordered to keep 25 feet away at all times. However, many of his shots are now considered masterpieces.
2Terry Richardson made a book of dick pics
Terry Richardson has photographed everyone from President Obama to Miley Cyrus. But the most popular subject is his own penis. In 2004, he published a book called Kibosh, which featured 358 photos, most of which involved him getting a blowjob or ejaculating on a woman's face. He called it “the summary of my career.” After being accused by numerous women of sexual assault, Richardson withdrew from the fashion scene and, judging from his blog, now seems content taking photos of abandoned buildings.
3Garry Gross photographed a nude 10-year-old Brooke Shields
There was a time in the 1970s when pedophilia was actually quite mainstream. Case in point: Brooke Shields. In 1975, she was both ten years old and a popular sex symbol to both children and adults. Brooke was even given permission by her mother and paid $450 to pose completely naked covered in oil for a Playboy spin-off called Sugar 'n Spice. In 1981, she attempted to prevent the photographs from being publicly displayed, but two years later a judge ruled the pictures did not break child pornography laws — she was bound by the contract her mother signed. A reproduction of the photograph was pulled from the Tate Modern in 2009.
4Andres Serrano's Piss Christ was funded by the NEA
Andres Serrano is a New York City photographer whose subject matter is purposely off-putting; many of them involve objects submerged in bodily fluids. One of the most notorious was a photo entitled Piss Christ, which shows a crucifix in a yellow liquid said to be the artist's urine.
It was partially funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, causing outrage amongst conservatives, including Senator Jesse Helms. Piss Christ sold in 1999 for $277,000 and a print was vandalized in 2011 while on display in France.
5Jill Greenberg made children cry, took pictures of it
Jill Greenberg is a popular commercial photographer who takes pictures of animals and people in her distinctive, heavily-Photoshopped style. After the election of George W. Bush in 2000, she published a book called End Times, which depicted close-up pictures of children crying and was meant to mirror her own feelings of anger and helplessness.
To make the subjects cry, Greenberg or the supervising parent would give them a piece of candy and then take it away; others were told their favorite toy would be thrown in the garbage.
6Steven Meisel made the Iraq War “sexy”
Fashion photographer Steven Meisel has often sparked outrage — he took the photos for Madonna's notorious Sex book. But when he took supermodels into a war zone, the sparks really flew. The spread was called “Make Love Not War” and published in Italian Vogue. It showed scantily clad women posing with men dressed in military uniforms as if it was shot in Iraq. He was accused of sexualizing the war and glamorizing rape.
7Joel-Peter Witkin's Feast of Fools feaures corpse parts and dead babies
Joel-Peter Witkin's eye-opening black-and-white images are all controversial. He photographs the disfigured and celebrates their uniqueness. He is also obsessed with dead bodies. One of his most shocking images comes from a hospital in Mexico City that let him take photos. He opened a drawer to find a dead baby and discarded body parts and arranged them with pieces of fruit. He called the piece Feast of Fools, pictured above.