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Ellen von Unwerth

Enter a world of femininity, playfulness, and fetish

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Ellen von Unwerth

Fusing the erotic and the feminine, Ellen von Unwerth’s photographs celebrate women’s bodies without ever objectifying her subjects. Von Unwerth worked as a top fashion model herself, before taking up the camera and becoming one of the world's most in-demand fashion photographers. Her editorial work has featured in countless magazines, including Vogue, Interview, Vanity Fair, and i-D, while her major advertising campaigns include Victoria’s Secret, Banana Republic, Guess, Diesel, and Chanel. In 1991 she was awarded first prize at the International Festival of Fashion Photography, and her work was featured in Archaeology of Elegance and Fashioning Fiction at MoMA, Queens in 2002 and 2004. Her many individual exhibitions include a one woman show at the Hamilton Gallery in London, and her photo-novella Revenge was accompanied by exhibitions in New York, Paris, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Moscow, and Beijing.

Ellen von Unwerth found fame when she first photographed a young Claudia Schiffer. While her work often takes the form of advertising photography, be it a music video, web film, or fashion magazine cover, her celebration of sexuality is always present. Switching effortlessly between classic black and white photography or searing color, von Unwerth plays on the genres of revenge photos and glamour shots, to produce work that is both decadent yet kitsch, romantic but sexy, and always filled with joie de vivre. Outside the realm of haute couture, von Unwerth moves just as easily amongst the world of musicians and has created major promotional photography for Duran Duran and other pop stars like Rihanna, Dido, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera.

TASCHEN books on Ellen von Unwerth include the publication Heimat, the ode to womanhood, Fräulein, featuring images of Claudia Schiffer, Lindsay Lohan, Dita von Teese, Eva Mendes, and Vanessa Paradis amongst others, and Olga, a unique narrative based photography book.