Photographer / Artist Melanie Pullen is a self-taught fine-art photographer. Her photography resides in the permanent collections of: The Getty Museum; The Museum of Contemporary Art; The Jumex Museum, Mexico City, The Rand Collection, in addition to many others. In 2018, she was included in the Getty Museum’s exhibition entitled: Icons of Style, A Century of Fashion Photography. In 2019 her work will be included in an exhibition at the The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and she will have a survey show at the MOAH Museum. 

Pullen’s photography is narrative based. Working with a variety of cinematic lighting techniques she creates photographs reminiscent of a film frozen in time. Her work is heavily influenced by early forensic photography, war journalism, cinema and fashion. Pullen’s work focuses on both social values and taboos while purposely taking aim at the media’s exploitation of sex, gender, and violence. Pullen herself has noted that she targets society’s glamorization of violent acts and crimes by literally re-dressing what are deeply disturbing events, forcing the viewer to question their own values and observations. “I’m continuously creating imagery that questions our perceptions and our ingrained desire to glamorize violence.”

Pullen’s notable series, High Fashion Crime Scenes (2003-2007) is based on vintage crime-scene images Pullen mined from the files of The Los Angeles Police Department and The LA County Coroner’s Office. Drawn to the rich details and compelling stories preserved in the criminal records, Pullen began re-enacting these crime-scenes, with well-known actresses and models, outfitting the “victims” in current haute-couture, and photographing them in her elaborately staged settings. Her subsequent series Violent Times 2008-2016 is comprised of over 100 images of recreations of found war images, creations of soldier portraits portrayed as still statuesque men frozen and then later massive redundant images of soldiers acting out in poetic acts of violence. 

In addition to her exhibitions, she has been featured in hundreds of publications including: The New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Vogue, Esquire Magazine, ELLE Magazine, London’s Sunday Independent, Spin Magazine, W Magazine, Flaunt Magazine, 1814 Magazine, and Vanity Fair. She has published critically acclaimed photography books and is currently working on her third. Melanie was awarded the D&AD Yellow Pencil Award.