Friday, March 5, 2010

HerStory: In Focus - Ellen Von Unwerth & Cindy Sherman

"Women are not just there to be admired, they are there to be enjoyed." - Ellen Von Unwerth

Ellen Von Unwerth, photographer and director extraordinaire was born in 1954, in Frankfurt, Germany. She masters imagery of erotic femininity. Von Unwerth worked as a fashion model for ten years herself before moving behind the camera and is now one of the worlds most in demand fashion photographers.

Remember those playful and sexy
Guess? Jeans Ads featuring supermodel Claudia Schiffer in the 1990’s? Ellen Von Unwerth found fame when she photographed these ads.

She has been published in top magazines such as, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Interview, The Face, Arena and I-D. Von Unwerth has also directed short films for fashion designers, and music videos for several pop musicians including Janet Jackson, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Rihanna.

Her advertising campaigns include Victoria's Secret, Banana Republic, Guess, Diesel, and Chanel. She won first prize at the International Festival of Fashion Photography in 1991. Her published books include Snaps, Wicked, Couples and most recent
Fräulein, which was released in December 2009. Her photography is gorgeous, unique and truly celebrates personality and sexuality of women.

Art and Commerce
represent her for photography and Moo Studios for live action.

New York Native Cindy Sherman (born January 19, 1954) is a photographer best known for her conceptual portraits. Sherman works in series, typically photographing herself in a range of costumes. In her landmark 69 photograph series, Untitled Film Stills, (1977–1980) are black and white photos in which Sherman places herself as an unnamed actress in shots reminiscent of foreign films, Hollywood pictures, B-movies, and film noir. Sherman used her own possessions as props, or sometimes borrowed from friends and the shots were also mainly taken in her own apartment.

In 2006, Sherman created a series of fashion advertisements for designer Marc Jacobs. The advertisements themselves were photographed by photographer Juergen Teller and released as a monograph by Rizzoli. Sherman has also worked as a film director; her first film was Office Killer in 1997, starring Jeanne Tripplehorn, Molly Ringwald and Carol Kane. She played a cameo role in John Waters' film, Pecker.

Although Sherman does not consider her work feminist, many of her photo-series, like the 1981 "Centerfolds," call attention to the stereotyping of women in films, television and magazines. When talking about one of her centerfold pictures Cindy said, "In content I wanted a man opening up the magazine suddenly to look at it with an expectation of something lascivious and then feel like the violator that they would be. Looking at this woman who is perhaps a victim. I didn't think of them as victims at the time... But I suppose... Obviously I'm trying to make someone feel bad for having a certain expectation."

Sherman is represented by Sprüth Magers Berlin London in Europe and Metro Pictures gallery in New York.

Big round of applause to two female photographers who create very different photographs (with different purposes) - celebrating the strength which women own.

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