September 10, 1975
New York, New York
|Known for||Photographer and artist|
|Notable work||High Fashion Crime Scenes, 1995–2005; Violent Times, 2005–2009|
Melanie Pullen (born in New York City, September 10, 1975) is a photographer who currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California
Pullen's work has been exhibited internationally, including solo-shows at Ace Gallery, Los Angeles and Ace Gallery, Beverly Hills; White Wall Gallery, Seoul; MiCamera, Milan. Her work has also been included in various museum exhibitions and has been broadly published 
To create High Fashion Crime Scenes (1995–2005), Pullen employed the services of up to 80 crew members and models per picture, with each image taking up to a month to create, and the series using over $13 million worth of clothing and accessories.
During her research into crime-scene photography, Pullen became haunted by war imagery. Pullen states,
"As I grew desensitized to domestic crime and violence, I became more sensitized to images of war. It was a strange phenomenon that I've explored and philosophized. I don’t like violence, I have never been a dark person. I see stories and different layers to violent imagery. I'm curious about the response people have to violent images.” 
This became Pullen's inspiration for Violent Times her more recent body of work and most elaborate series to date.
It is interesting to note that although there is strong theoretical connotation to her work, alongside masterful lighting and color theory, Pullen has never gone to school for photography, or taken a single lesson. She has learned her craft through trial and error, a process that has proved greatly beneficial to her work.
Despite her love of “accidents”, she is in fact a perfectionist “to the point of driving [herself] insane.” Pullen is inspired by geometry, and she loves lines and symmetry.
Shortly after acquiring her first camera in her teens she began shooting for several publications, magazines, catalogs, and record labels.
She worked in 2004 with Beck for his album Guero and The Information. In addition to Beck, she's shot many other musicians, such as: Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom, Rock Kills Kid and The Black Keys.
Printing and methods
Pullen's photographs are some of the largest images in the world. Her images range in size from four-foot up to ten-foot seamless photographs. Some are face-mounted prints and others are large-format positives backlit in massive light-boxes.
Pullen prints and retouches all of her own work with very little help, if any. She does her own high resolution scanning and she still employs traditional spotting techniques due to the size of her prints. She personally hand spots each print.
Childhood and early inspiration
Pullen was raised in New York City's West Village. As a child her family consisted of writers, publishers, poets and painters. Her childhood home was frequented in the 1970s and '80s by the likes of Andy Warhol, Allen Ginsberg, Emily Glen and Shel Silverstein. Pullen at the age of six would sometimes perform in Washington Square Park with Philippe Petit (Man on Wire) in his neighborhood shows.
Pullen has noted that one of her inspirations was grandmother Ann Guilfoyle, the photo editor at Audubon magazine and founder of The Guilfoyle Report . Pullen's grandfather George Hornby started Domesday Press and worked as a freelancer or staff member with Knopf, Crown, Random House, Crowell-Collier, Rowman & Littlefield, and Farrar Straus & Young. He designed Mr. President, a biographical study of Harry S. Truman in 1951 with whom he worked. Kathleen Guilfoyle, Pullen's mother, is a painter and supported her family through painting murals in Manhattan's Greenwich Village and through peddling her works on the streets of New York. Pullen's father, Wayne Pullen, has played professional pool for many years and is considered one of the most skilled one-pocket players in the US. He won first place in the USPPA Pro Am Classic in 2003 in Reno, Nevada.
Pullen’s monograph High Fashion Crime Scenes (74 plates) is published by Nazraeli Press and has received international critical acclaim by magazines such as Spin, Variety, Vanity Fair, Elle and Vogue Magazine. Pullen’s book includes an introduction by Luke Crisell and essays by both Robert Enright and Colin Westerbech.
Pullen's photographic series have also been featured in numerous publications and broadcasts including: San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times Magazine, LA Times, ArtReview, The London Independent on Sunday Review, Vogue, Elle, Fortune, W, GQ, RollingStone, Nylon, Photo, Art Forum, National Public Radio, CBS Radio and CBS News.
2011 Project Atrium: Melanie Pullen, The Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, Jacksonville FL http://www.mocajacksonville.org/current/project-atrium-melanie-pullen
2010 High Fashion Crime Scenes, Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
2009 Violent Times, Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco
2008 Violent Times, Ace Gallery Los Angeles
2007 High Fashion Crime Scenes, Micamera, Milan, Italy
2006 High Fashion Crime Scenes, Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2006 High Fashion Crime Scenes, White Wall Gallery, Seoul, Korea
2005 High Fashion Crime Scenes, Ace Gallery Beverly Hills
2004 High Fashion Crime Scenes, Presented by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s 10th Annual Muse Art Walk, Los Angeles, CA
2003 High Fashion Crime Scenes, The Silver Lake Society of Authentic Arts, Los Angeles, CA
2008 Dreams of Promise And Peril, The Warehouse Gallery, Syracuse, NY Photos and Phantasy: Selections from The Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Carnegie Art Museum, Oxnard, CA Art And Illusion: Selections From The Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Roseville Arts! Blue Line Gallery, Roseville, CA
2007 Tell Me a Story: Narrative Photography Now, The Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA
2006 City Limits, University Art Museum, California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, CA Photos And Phantasy: Selections From The Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, The Frederick R. Weisman Museum Of Art, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA
2005 Berkus’ Beauties, Atkinson Gallery Santa Barbara City College High Fashion Crime Scenes, Ace Gallery Beverly Hills
2004 Selected Work from Juliette Lewis Series, High Fashion Crime Scenes, Downtown Artwalk, Los Angeles, CA
2003 High Fashion Crime Scene Photographs, The Silver Lake Society Of Authentic Arts, Los Angeles, CA High Fashion Crime Scene Photographs, The Los Angeles Tar Festival, Los Angeles, CA
New York Times Interview, 2004 New York Times
[KQED Gallery Crawl http://www.kqed.org/arts/programs/gallerycrawl/episode.jsp?essid=24440]
- Stephen Wirtz Gallery, Artist Bio http://www.wirtzgallery.com/bios/bio_pullen_frame.html
- The London Independent on Sunday, 13 March 2005, http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-1908524.html
- KPCC, Pacific Drift 2006 http://www.natsnd.org/sound/pacificdrift/pacificdrift14
- Artist Interview, 2008, http://whitecanvas.com/whitecanvas/5
- Artist Interview, 2008 http://whitecanvas.com/whitecanvas/5
- Melanie Pullen (Official Site), Artist Bio http://www.melaniepullen.com
- Beck (Official Site), 2010 http://beck.com/colorspace
- List of Artist Album Credits, 2003-2009 http://www.artistdirect.com/artist/melanie-pullen/3209710
- Arthur Magazine, circa 2006 http://store.arthurmag.com/product/arthur-issue-10
- Pullen discusses her inspiration in the final chapter of her book, High Fashion Crime Scenes, 2005 http://www.nazraeli.com/bookdetail.php?book_id=100095
- New York Times, 1990 http://www.nytimes.com/1990/10/03/obituaries/george-a-hornby-78-a-book-designer-dies.html?pagewanted=1
- USPPA List of Tournaments, 2000 http://www.azbilliards.com/2000storya.php?id=1471
- Spin Magazine, Aug 2006 http://www.spin.com
- Nazraeli Publications (Official Site), 2005 http://www.nazraeli.com/bookdetail.php?book_id=100095
- The Agency, Bio http://www.theagencygroup.com/artist.aspx?ArtistID=5009
- Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art, 2010 http://www.chaffey.edu/wignall/current.shtml