Ellen von Unwerth  (German, 1954) 

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Ellen von Unwerth (German, b.1954) is a director and photographer who started out working as a fashion model. She was born in Frankfurt, Germany, and began modeling at the age of 20. After being noticed by a photographer on the street, she moved to Paris to begin a career as a fashion model. During her years as a model, she started to feel that the industry was missing an element of freedom.

After receiving a camera as a gift from her boyfriend, she began to take her own pictures, which eventually led to an improvised photo-shoot in Africa of her model colleagues. Von Unwerth developed a passion for photography after seeing the published photos of her colleagues. She became famous for her work when she was hired by Guess to shoot an up-and-coming model named Claudia Shchiffer. This photo-shoot created a huge demand for her services in the industry. Von Unwerth then began to do work for leading magazines like Vogue, Interview, Vanity Fair, The Face, L'Uomo Vogue, I-D, and Twill.

In 1991, she won first prize at the International Festival of Fashion Photography. Over the years, she has photographed numerous celebrities and entertainers. One of her most popular pieces is a photoshoot of actress Drew Barrymore that was done for Playboy in 1995. Prior to that, she photographed a memorable shoot of Madonna for Vogue in 1993. Von Unwerth also has a long list of album cover work credited to her professional portfolio; this list includes Duran Duran's Liberty in 1990, Bananarama's Pop Life in 1991, Janet Jackson's The Velvet Rope in 1997, Dido's Life for Rent in 2003, Christina Aguilera's Back to Basics in 2006, and Britney Spears's Blackout in 2007. She recently photographed the album covers Rated R and Talk ThatTalk for Rihanna.

Von Unwerth has also done some directing work on commercials and Internet-based films for companies such as Equinox, Clinique, and Revlon. In addition, she has directed music videos and short films for a variety of fashion designers. Some of her published books include Snaps (1994), Wicked (1999), Revenge (2003), and Fraulein (2009). Her photographs are represented by many galleries, such as the Fahey/Klein Gallery in Los Angeles, CA, the Staley-Wise Gallery in New York, NY, and Galerie Trabant in Kitzbühel, Austria.

Find Ellen von Unwerth artworks for sale worldwide, artworks that sold at auction, a detailed biography, and more information on the artist below.
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Artworks for sale (24)
In Art Galleries (24)
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In Past Auctions (80)

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Artworks for sale (24)

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Ellen von Unwerth, Untitled

 

Ellen von Unwerth
Untitled
Fashion Pictures Inter'l
Ellen von Unwerth, Untitled

 

Ellen von Unwerth
Untitled
Fashion Pictures Inter'l
Ellen von Unwerth, Untitled

 

Ellen von Unwerth
Untitled
Fashion Pictures Inter'l
Ellen von Unwerth, Untitled

 

Ellen von Unwerth
Untitled
Fashion Pictures Inter'l
Ellen von Unwerth, Untitled

 

Ellen von Unwerth
Untitled
Hamburg Kennedy Photographs
Ellen von Unwerth, Bathing Beauties II, Paris

 

Ellen von Unwerth
Bathing Beauties II, Paris
1992

Staley-Wise Gallery
Ellen von Unwerth, Rihanna

 

Ellen von Unwerth
Rihanna
2009

Camera Work
Ellen von Unwerth, Meow II

 

Ellen von Unwerth
Meow II
2012

Staley-Wise Gallery
Ellen von Unwerth, Rihanna, Berlin

 

Ellen von Unwerth
Rihanna, Berlin
2009

Staley-Wise Gallery
Past auction results (80)  View All
Ellen von Unwerth, Legwork (from Revenge)

 

Ellen von Unwerth
Legwork (from Revenge), 2002
gelatin silver print, mntd on aluminum

 

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Ellen von Unwerth, Sans titre (from Revenge)

 

Ellen von Unwerth
Sans titre (from Revenge), 2003
gelatin silver print

 

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Ellen von Unwerth, Yin and Yang

 

Ellen von Unwerth
Yin and Yang, 2007
gelatin silver print

 

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1954   Born: Germany
1991   First prize at the International Festival of Fashion Photography
2008   Haus der Photographie/Deichtorhallen, Hamburg
2007   Michael Hoppen Gallery, London
2007   POBEDA gallery, Moskva (solo)
2006   Galerie Wouter van Leeuwen, Amsterdam
2005   Steven Kasher Gallery, New York
2005   Galerie Wouter van Leeuwen, Amsterdam (solo)
2005   Galerie Kamel Mennour, Paris (solo)
2004   Aeroplastics Contemporary, Bruxelles
2004   Museu Metropolitano de Art, Curitiba
2004   MoMA- The Museum of Modern Art, New York
2003   Studio Pin Up, Paris
2003   Galerie Wouter van Leeuwen, Amsterdam (solo)
2003   Camera Work, Hamburg (solo)
2003   Staley + Wise Gallery, New York (solo)
2003   Galerie Kamel Mennour, Paris (solo)
2003   Camera Work, Berlin (solo)
2002   Nederlands Fotomuseum/Netherlands Photo Museum, Rotterdam
2002   Haus der Photographie/Deichtorhallen, Hamburg