About Ellen von Unwerth: Playdate

In this exhibition of black and white and color photographs, Ellen von Unwerth dazzles with a parade of girls who run the gamut from innocent to naughty. Sex is in the forefront: fetishistic, humorous, romantic, decadent, and erotic. Fashion and fantasy are combined in von Unwerth’s vision of girls having fun: with us, with each other and with the unseen viewer who they tease, taunt, and provoke.

These photographs capture the female version of the sexual provocateur, not so much the object of lust but the playful instigator. The ingredients include masks and hi hats, a bit of bondage, black stockings, black cats, pink tulle and strawberries, combining the dark and dangerous along with the fun and games of contemporary life in the fast lane.

Ellen von Unwerth was born in Germany in the mid 1950s. She worked in a circus as assistant to the knife thrower and worked as a model after being discovered walking down the street in her native Munich. Von Unwerth’s fashion work is published in American, Italian, and British Vogue, Interview, and Vanity Fair. Her books include Snaps, Wicked, Couples, Olga, and Fräulein.


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