If you like Helmut Newton, you will love Ellen Von Unwerth. She was considered for a longtime as Newton’s Alter Ego but Ellen von Unwerth is much more than that. She goes further in the exploration of women fantasies and phantasms. Some websites try to define her style like “erotic feminine” but the work of Ellen Von Unwerth displays something more deep. We could describe it as a sort of subversive women world where men are non-existent. While Newton often revealed a man’s eye on a woman’s body, Von Unwerth reveals a feminine world where men are not invited! Of course their work are both very sexy but we can see that this little difference makes a huge gap.
She was born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1954. Her career started as a circus assistant to the knife thrower and then worked as a model for 10 years. Afterwards, she became a photographer and also film director. She is one of the most influent fashion photographers today and her work is timeless. Between outrageous sexiness and playful naiveness, Ellen Von Unwerth photos have a singular modernity. She got her first big success when she shooted the Guess jeans campaign with Claudia Schiffer.
Her work is published in all big fashion magazines like Vogue, The Face, Vanity-Fair or I-D. She also worked with several music artists into their album covers and inside pictures.
Duran Duran Liberty – 1990
Janet Jackson Velvet Rope – 1997
Dido Life for Rent – 2003
Rihanna Rated R. – 2008
She directed several music clics for international singers like Christina Aguilera or Salt-N-Pepa. The last clip was made for Kenneth Bager on his song Fragment one in 2010. Have a look here below on the video clip. You can recognize the eye of Von Unwerth.
And finally here are some of my preferred photographs of Ellen Von Unwerth. Enjoy.