“The provocateur” Exhibition | Ellen Von Unwerth | Staley Wise Gallery NYC | March 8 – May 11, 2024

The Provocateur is Ellen von Unwerth’s fifth solo exhibition at Staley-Wise Gallery. The photographs included in this exhibition, several of which have never been seen before, reflect a liberated and irrepressible engagement with her subjects that the photographer has championed for her entire career. Von Unwerth notes “I know what it’s like when you feel really uncomfortable, so I do everything in my power to make them feel at ease – and to live and laugh and move.” These exhibition images reflect a winking provocateur; not so much the object of lust but the playful instigator - both innocent and naughty. While eroticism is in the forefront of many of these images, fantasy and humor unite von Unwerth’s vision of her subjects simply having fun - with each other, and with the viewer who they tease, taunt, and provoke.
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