Controversy and the Art of the Image

8 Apr 2019 TALKS ,

Controversy and the Art of the Image

Featuring: Melanie Pullen

Presented By


Sunday, April 28th | 12.30PM – 1.30PM

Meet at The Studio, across the Park from Annenberg Space For Photography.

Let us know you are attending, by registering here.

Please note that seating is first come first served.

All talks are free and are open to all.

Melanie Pullen’s talk will cover the taboo subjects that she explores in her work, including the self-imposed boundaries that she adheres to when delving into controversial subject matters and series. Melanie will discuss her journey through the art world, working exclusively as a fine-art photographer spanning nearly two decades.

Make sure to also check out Leica Pavilion at Photoville LA.


Melanie Pullen (b.1975 NYC) (b.1975 NYC) is a self-taught fine-art photographer raised in a family of photojournalists, publishers, and artists. Her photography is heavily influenced by early forensic photography, war journalism, cinema, and fashion.

Pullen’s photography focuses on social values and taboos while purposely taking aim at the media’s exploitation of sex, gender, and violence. Pullen has noted that she targets society’s glamorization of violent acts and crimes by literally re-dressing what are deeply disturbing events. Her work ultimately forces the viewer to question their own values and observations.

To create her signature cinematic photos, Pullen’s photoshoots closely resemble high-budget films. She often utilizes cinematic lighting, film-crews, stuntmen, stylists, makeup artists and models. At times, she has up to one hundred people for a shoot.

Pullen’s most notable series, High Fashion Crime Scenes (2003-2017) is based on vintage crime scenes she mined from the files of the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office. Photographs from this series employ the power of fashion to disguise and distract, drawing the viewer’s attention away from the otherwise gruesome subjects.

Pullen’s photography is in the permanent collections of the: The Getty Museum; Museo Jumex, Mexico City; Museum of Contemporary Art, Florida; Fredrick R. Weisman Museum of Art, California; Nasher Museum of Contemporary Art, North Carolina; Walker Art Center Museum, Minnesota; Museum of Art and History, California. Her work is also included in notable private collections around the world.

Pullen’s work has been featured in hundreds of publications including: The New York Times Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, Vogue, Esquire, ELLE, Architectural Digest, London’s Sunday Independent, SPIN, W, Flaunt Magazine, 1814 Magazine, and Vanity Fair. She has published multiple photography books which have received critical acclaim.

Melanie was awarded the D&AD Yellow Pencil Award.

She currently lives and works in Los Angeles.


Leica represents a union of craftsmanship, design, and experience. It is a beautiful collision of art and engineering, and the future of form and functionality. Leica Camera is an internationally operating, premium-segment manufacturer of cameras and sport optics products. The legendary status of the Leica brand is founded on a long tradition of excellence in the supreme quality and performance of cameras and lenses, and the iconic images that artists and photojournalists everywhere captured with them.