Melanie Pullen – High Fashion Crime Scenes

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Micamera presents the first European exhibition of High Fashion Crime Scenes a photographic series by the American artist Melanie Pullen – born 1975 in New York City she currently works and resides in Los Angeles. Pullen’s series High Fashion Crime Scenes is based entirely on vintage crime-scene images and documents Pullen mined from the files of both the New York and Los Angeles Police Departments, the Coroner’s Office, and other sources. Drawn to the details and the stories preserved in the criminal records, in early 2002 she began recreating these events with both models and actresses (i.e. Rachel Miner and Juliette Lewis). Implementing haute couture into each image she tells a story and purposely distracts the viewer from the violence that confronts us in her work. The aim of the series is to take the viewer on a journey through the distractions swaying one ones attention from the reality of the crime.
“I began recreating crime scene photos for many reasons, but one of them is that in all their darkness, they’re a completed story – each a perfect photograph, a still shot that captures the final moment and if you look closely enough, always tell a tale. I think this is why so many photographers became fascinated with the subject in the 1940s and 50s.”
“…when recreating the crime scenes, I attached layers of distractions to the photos to sway the viewer from the reality of the situation and deviate their attention – the goal being that the last thing you notice is the crime itself.”
For the realization of each shot, Melanie Pullen enlisted up to fifty crew members including: stunt men, makeup artists, gaffers, builders etc. She also incorporated lighting that is primarily used in movies and worked with professional cinematographers for advice creating her settings. As a result she creates images that are very cinematic and lay somewhere between fashion, crime photography, cinema, and art.

on exhibit from September 18 to November 17, 2007
High Fashion Crime Scenes is also a beautiful monography published by Nazraeli Press

Date: September 18, 2007