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Ellen Von Unwerth
© Filip Naudts
Ellen Von Unwerth
Ellen Von Unwerth

Ellen Von Unwerth

Country: Germany
Birth: 1954

Ellen von Unwerth is a photographer and director, specializing in erotic femininity. She worked as a fashion model for ten years herself before moving behind the camera, and now makes fashion, editorial, and advertising photographs. Ellen von Unwerth found fame when she first photographed Claudia Schiffer. Her work has been published in top magazines like Vogue, Vanity Fair, Interview, The Face, Arena, Twill, L'Uomo Vogue and I-D, and she has published several books of photography. She won first prize at the International Festival of Fashion Photography in 1991. Von Unwerth did promotional photography for Duran Duran from 1994–1997 and did some photography for their 1990 album Liberty and 1997 album Medazzaland. Her work has been seen on other album covers, such as Bananarama's Pop Life (1991), Cathy Dennis' Am I the Kinda Girl? (1996), Janet Jackson's The Velvet Rope (1997), British R&B group All Saints' Saints & Sinners (2000), singer-songwriter Dido's Life for Rent (2003), Britney Spears' comeback album Blackout (2007), Christina Aguilera's 2006 album Back To Basics and her 2008 greatest hits album Keeps Gettin' Better: A Decade of Hits and R&B singer Rihanna's Rated R and Talk That Talk. Von Unwerth has also directed short films for fashion designers, and music videos for several pop musicians. She has directed many commercials and web films for top brands like Revlon, Clinique, Equinox and others, many featuring celebrities.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Alvaro Ybarra Zavala
Alvaro Ybarra Zavala, is based in Spain. He took up a career in photography while at university, aged 19, focussing on issues of social conflict. He has now exclusively joined the Reportage by Getty Images roster, having previously worked with Agence Vu (December 2005 - March 2009), and as a freelance photographer before that. His key bodies of work to date have included conflict coverage in Chechnya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, Burma/Myanmar, Sudan, Georgia, and the Central African Republic, post-conflict coverage in the Balkans, HIV/AIDS in Southeast Asia (India, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma/Myanmar) and Africa (Malawi, Gambia, Senegal, Kenya), the tsunami in Banda Aceh & Sri Lanka, indigenous peoples in Bolivia, Brazil and Ecuador, presidential elections in Bolivia, Paraguay & Serbia, and cancer in the third world (Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, Uganda, Iraq and Morocco), all of which are topics close to his heart. As well as working on his own personal projects, he has worked on assignment for TIME, Newsweek, the New York Times, the Sunday Times magazine, Le Monde, Liberation, Vanity Fair, XLsemanal & ABC, L'Espresso, Stern, GEO, EPS, EIGHT, etc. Alvaro has published four books to date, with a fifth scheduled for release in 2010, Apocalipsis. He has exhibited his work internationally, including in the UK ("The Voices of Darfur" at the Royal Albert Hall), in France ("Children of Sorrow" at the Visa Pour l'Image festival in Perpignan), China, Colombia, at the United Nations in New York and Geneva, and in other cities across the US and Spain. Source www.alvaroybarra.com
Nanna Heitmann
Germany/ Russia
Nanna Heitmann is a German/ Russian documentary photographer, based between Russia and Germany. Her work has been published by TIME Magazine, M Le Magazine du Monde, De Volkskrant, Stern Magazine and she has worked on assignments for outlets including The New York Times, TIME Magazine, The Washington Post and Stern Magazine. She has received awards that include the Leica Oscar Barnack Newcomer Award, the Ian Parry Award of Achievement. Nanna Heitmann joined Magnum as a nominee in 2019. Hiding from Baba Yaga "Vasilisa was running faster than she had ever run before. Soon she could hear the witch, Baba Yaga's mortar bumping on the ground behind her. Desperately, she remembered the thin black cat's words and threw the towel behind her on the ground. The towel grew bigger and bigger, and wetter and wetter, and soon a deep, broad river stood between the little girl and Baba Yaga. Vasilisa threw the comb behind her, and the comb grew bigger and bigger, and its teeth sprouted up into a thick forest, so thick that not even Baba Yaga could force her way through. And Baba Yaga the witch, the bony-legged one, gnashing her teeth and screaming with rage and disappointment, finally turned round and drove away back to her little hut on hen's legs." From time immemorial people have sought protection and freedom on the banks of the Yenisei and the adjacent wild taiga. For a long time, the banks of the Yenisei have been pervaded by nomadic peoples. The Russians, coming from the west, chased by the greed for valuable fur, did not reach the river until 1607. Criminals, escaped serfs, apostates or simply adventurers, joined together in wild rider associations and expanded ever deeper into the vast wild Taiga. The life of the settlers in Siberia was free and self-determined for the time. Old believers settled on lonely banks of the Yenisei to escape the persecution of the Tsar and later the Soviets. With Stalin the Yenisei became a place of exile and forced labor. The Soviets not only chained the native peoples, but also the Yenisei. With two giant dams they created lakes of almost 400km length. Villages sank in the water, the climate changed. A dense fog swept over the river. The USSR is history. Today, most people are drawn to big cities like Moscow or St Petersburg. Therefore the Yenisei turns more and more into a space for dreamers and loners to escape the worldly world. Not far from the banks of the Yenisei lives Yuri, who has built a small hut on a landfill. Here he can find food for his 15 former street dogs, here he lives freely. Nothing keeps him in the city, where thick coal dust covers the white snow in winter. "All my friends are in the cemetery. Drugs or alcohol." Following the stream of the Yenisei north one encounters Valentin. An self claimed anarch ecologist - a former officer, traumatized by war missions. Today he lives on his small property in the forest. Even at minus 50 degrees, he sleeps outside by the fire. From endless wars he has enough. "All the people of this world, live together in peace and protect your forests." Only to those who threaten the Siberian forests he declares war. "We have a wonderful forest. How many tress grow here. But we need more forests to breathe. Humanity destroyed our forests. These must be revived immediately. " Not far from the source of the Yenisei, Vaselisa lives in the village of Old Believers. Her parents are both deaf and the only heathens in a village that lives strictly to century-old rituals. She doesn't like the children in her village. Her only friend lives in the village of Sissim. While summer holidays the Yenisei and a walk separates them from each other. Encountering all this different people, there is a bond which connects them with each other. The seek of freedom, protection, imprisonment and isolation. The Yenisei and its woods become a metaphor of a dreamscape: Loneliness, unfulfilled dreams, death, abandoned hopes shape people as much as the vast nature, which at the same time gives so much freedom and places of retreat.
Lillian Bassman
United States
1917 | † 2012
Lillian Bassman (June 15, 1917 – February 13, 2012) was an American photographer and painter. Her parents were Jewish intellectuals who emigrated to the United States from Russia in 1905 and settled in Brooklyn, New York. She studied at the Textile High School in Manhattan with Alexey Brodovitch and graduated in 1933. While there, she met the photographer, Paul Himmel, and they were married in 1935; Himmel died in 2009 after 73 years of marriage. From the 1940s until the 1960s Bassman worked as a fashion photographer for Junior Bazaar and later at Harper's Bazaar where she promoted the careers of photographers such as Richard Avedon, Robert Frank, Louis Faurer and Arnold Newman. Under the guidance of the Russian emigrant, Alexey Brodovitch, she began to photograph her model subjects primarily in black and white. Her work was published for the most part in Harper’s Bazaar from 1950 to 1965. By the 1970s Bassman’s interest in pure form in her fashion photography was out of vogue. She turned to her own photo projects and abandoned fashion photography. In doing so she tossed out 40 years of negatives and prints - her life’s work. A forgotten bag filled with hundreds of images was discovered over 20 years later. Bassman’s fashion photographic work began to be re-appreciated in the 1990s. She worked with digital technology and abstract color photography into her 90s to create a new series of work. She used Photoshop for her image manipulation. The most notable qualities about her photographic work are the high contrasts between light and dark, the graininess of the finished photos, and the geometric placement and camera angles of the subjects. Bassman became one of the last great woman photographers in the world of fashion. Bassman died on February 13, 2012, at age 94. Source: Wikipedia Lillian Bassman was born in 1917 into an immigrant family of free-thinking intellectuals, and was brought up with a mindset that allowed her to live as an independent and unconventional woman.She worked as a textile designer and fashion illustrator before working at Harper's Bazaar with Alexey Brodovitch, and ultimately becoming a photographer. Bassman's fashion images are unique, and acheieve their effect through manipulation in the dark room. Appearing in Harper's Bazaar from the 1940's to the 1960's, her work was categorized by their elegance and grace.Bassman had transformed these photographs into original works of art through her darkroom techniques in which she blurs and bleaches the images, investing them with poetry, mystery, and glamour. Source: Staley-Wise Gallery Lillian Bassman is one of the great 20th century fashion photographers along with Irving Penn and Richard Avedon. She began her career not as a photographer but as a painter at the WPA and then took courses at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. In 1945, Bassman was appointed Art Director at Junior Bazaar, giving projects to photographers such as Richard Avedon, Robert Frank and Paul Himmel (her husband). Later in 1947, she became the Art Director at Harper’s Bazaar, and her work appeared in Harper’s Bazaar throughout the 1940’s and 50’s. Her work was nearly destroyed in the 70’s by a water leak in her studio, and it was not until the 1990’s that her work was revived. With this new spotlight, Bassman received the Agfa Life Time Achievement Award and the Dem Art Directors Club Award in 1996. During the same year, Bassman began photographing again when she was asked to photograph the Haute Couture collection for New York Times Magazine, the Autumn Collection for Neiman Marcus, as well as work for German Vogue. Her work has been exhibited worldwide. Source: Peter Fetterman Gallery
Mariska Karto
Netherlands
Mariska Karto is an artist/ fine art-photographer born in Suriname (South-America) and raised in the Netherlands. In this age of rapidity and technical development, in which human is exposed to impersonal detachment of current technical era, Mariska Karto creates the vulnerable and intensive dimensions of human feelings and emotions. This all happens in the dreamworld she has created with her technique in which past and present have found their way to each other, in this era of transformation.She talks to you in a language without words using symbolism in a dreamworld of historic paintings atmosphere.Mystique, tragic and erotic are the keywords for her work. Her work are like old stories escaped from an old world of eternal dreams, eternal emotions and eternal feelings that existed for hundred of years but still repeats themselves as in a pattern of an earthy rite, in this new modern contemporary era.Her works are like poems and thoughts, restless ones but are also like whispers of thoughtless experiences, floating in a centuries long movement in time.Artist Statement"My work is based on a period in which photography did not exist, It was not until the end of the 18th century that it was invented. As a result of this, people thought that photography would make the art of painting disappear, especially in the post modern era, the traditional art had to make way for new technical developments. In my work I seek and found a respectful connection of technique and traditional craft through a striking contradiction. Painters in the Baroque/renaissance time were trying to paint as true-to-life with painting-techniques and color applications. What a camera does is portray the world in its realistic colors. That’s the contradiction in my work, it’s the other way around. I shoot realistic images and through an intensive transformation process, the work is changed, true-to-life in the characteristic Baroque colors and style of that time. Eventually, this says nothing about photography and technique, but more about the great masters of that gone era, they were able to be as realistic and accurate as possible with brush and paint the world in all its reality… That’s the great contradiction in my work, I’m leaving the visible reality of our current time, and bring the invisible realism of the past forward in my work. As a result of this, I pull away present time from its structure and then time appears to be just a definition, which slowly fades away, when current and past becomes interwoven with each other.” More background info: "I mix skills from different worlds together. It is a blend of skills of my (I'm originally a painter and sketcher, textiles - I was a textile artist some years ago, photography and image processing) that ultimately meets each other in this form of art. A main factor are also social emotional influences in my life which developed how I see, learn and finally understand things in an essential (psychological) way. All these (artistic) elements from different areas and personal influences come together in a work of mine."
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