Sept 20: "Haunted"
Photographer Melanie Pullen’s latest body of work focuses on the moment before the moment that changes your life: the split second before the car crashes or the gun goes off. As with her earlier “High Fashion Crime Scenes” and “Violent Times” series, there’s a darkness to “Haunted” (at Ace Gallery in Los Angeles, September 20 to December 20), whose unsettling effect is further heightened by the fact that her subjects this time around are underage, and their stories, in many cases, are based on real-life events. If Pullen’s vision of violence is stylized, it’s not unfeeling; mundane details often underscore the tragic human dramas depicted. In one image—shot on location where a young girl was last seen before her assumed kidnapping—her yellow rain slicker and ruby red maryjanes shimmer against a backdrop of urban gloom. Her hood obscures her face, lending a plaintive anonymity to her plight. “I wanted to capture the innocence of the moment before,” says Pullen, “a sort of oblivion to the future.”