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Ellen von Unwerth

Germany, 1954
Ellen von Unwerth is one of the most influential contemporary fashion photographers. As a young girl she posed as a model in front of the lens of famous photographers such as Guy Bourdin and Olivieri Toscani. Her career as a photographer was launched in 1989 when von Unwerth photographed the then 17-year-old Claudia Schiffer for a Guess fashion campaign. From then on, her images appeared in prominent fashion magazines like Vogue and Vanity Fair and she received commissions from among others Dior, Agent Provocateur and Ralph Lauren.

Although she is best known for her work in fashion, von Unwerth managed to establish herself as an internationally renowned photographer across a wide range of subject matters. She is a familiar face in the music business. She has worked closely with the eighties band Duran Duran and was responsible for the artwork and music videos of various music groups and pop stars, such as Janet Jackson, Dido, All Saint, Britney Spears and Rihanna.
 
Von Unwerth’s highly stylized and esthetic world is populated by beautiful, young women in a glamourous, soft-erotic setting. In her vibrant and sensual images, she emphasizes the feminine playfulness and sexuality. Her models are always full of confidence and energy. After a troubled childhood, which she spend in orphanages and foster homes, von Unwerth lived a while in a creative commune. In the early 1980s she worked for a brief period in a circus. The bright lights, vibrant visuals and elaborate costumes would have a great influence on her visual language and have urged her to tell stories of escapism, freedom and transformation.
 
Von Unwerth currently lives and works in Paris, France.

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