Melanie Pullen, ‘Half Prada’, 2003, Wirtz Art

About Melanie Pullen

Her interest piqued by a book about crime scene photographs from the New York City Police Department, Melanie Pullen has drawn on these pre-1950s images for her ongoing project, “High Fashion Crime Scenes.” A self-taught artist, Pullen was born in New York to a family of artists, publishers, and photojournalists. Today she resides in California, where she scours the vintage crime-scene images of the Los Angeles Police Department and the coroner’s office for reference material to create interpretive reenactments. Pullen’s staged photographs, likened to the works of Philip-Lorca diCorcia and Cindy Sherman, portray models dressed in contemporary fashions, positioned as the victims. In a return to early, less clinical methods of crime scene photography, Pullen revisits the artistic sensibilities once applied to composition, lighting, and drama, channeling photographers such as Weegee, Jacob Riis, and Eugène Atget.

American, b. 1975