Regular readers will realise I rarely (unintended alliteration, there) publish solely fashion/commercial photography. While I believe there are no six-foot high boundaries between the realms of fine art photography, fashion and commercial stuff, everything crosses over, of course; yet I do seem to keep Eighteen39 a relatively editorial and advertising-free zone.
However, today I’m featuring photographer Ellen von Unwerth. Currently an advertising/fashion/editorial photographer, she is renowned for her earlier work containing erotic femininity. Theories of ‘The Gaze’ – a term coined by Jacques Lacan and a heavily discussed aspect of viewing theory – can be heavily applied to her images.
Punchy sexual connotation combines with a seeming availability; her female subjects are the object of our interest, yet remain in control, allusive and in power.
Do we display interest because of fantasy by gazing, thus rendering the subjects into object, or is our gaze avoided or accepted, ultimately rejected?