The Fahey/Klein gallery is thrilled to present a selection of photographs from the queen of female sensuality, photographer Ellen von Unwerth. In her exhibition, “Bombshell”, the works on display revel in von Unwerth’s experimentation with archetypes and stereotypes that result in images that are spontaneous, playful, and alive.
Ellen von Unwerth’s thirty-year storied career defined the aesthetic of the 90’s and 2000’s and has made her a staple of fashion photography. Crafting cinematic scenarios for her shoots, Von Unwerth’s flashy, kinky, and humorous photographs invite viewers to come along on a boisterous escapade. By furnishing each of her subjects with a new persona to inhabit, she allows their inhibitions to melt away. The story telling aspect of her creative process has allowed her to create images that are never static and beg the question, “what is really going on here?” The inherent sexuality in her images is never without fun, and the subjects within her works are always powerful – positioned in control of their sex appeal.
“I think throughout history we talk a lot about emancipation, but when you look at many old movies, the woman was always portrayed as the Femme Fatale and was unapologetic. Like Brigitte Bardot: She was super sexy, flirty, but she had things in control. So being a beautiful woman who could, at the same time, have their life in their hands is the way I shoot women and see them. They have control and use their beauty, personality, charm, humor & intelligence to get what they want” – Ellen von Unwerth for Playboy: December 9, 2019
Ellen von Unwerth’s introduction to the world of photography began in front of the lens as a model. Born in Frankfurt, Germany, she began modeling at the age of 20. During her years as a model, she felt that the industry was missing an element of freedom. Eventually, she made the transition from model to photographer. The work she has made over the years transcends sexy fashion images and instead represents a modern, confident, and totally unique approach to photography.
Ellen Von Unwerth’s work has been featured in numerous magazines and publications including Vanity Fair, Vogue, and Interview. Along with creating editorial and Fine Art work, she continues to produce dynamic short films, direct music videos, and create successful advertisement campaigns for Chanel, Victoria’s Secret, and her now iconic work for Guess. Ellen von Unwerth’s photographs have been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide.
Ellen von Unwerth
March 23 – April 29, 2023