When I look at Ellen Stagg’s photographs, I remember when I was little and would sneak and read my dad’s stack of Playboy magazines. I remember those women who seemed larger than life, the sunlight kissing their skin, their eyes either playful and knowing or sultry and sensual. Or maybe I remember when I would sleep over at my friend Rachel’s house and we would sneak and read her dad’s stack of Penthouse. And I remember those women showing a bit more of their secret pink parts and doing things that seemed terribly mysterious and naughty.
It’s hard for me to sum up Stagg’s work. Her subjects are undeniably explicit and also sexy. She mainly photographs women but occasionally will do shoots with men. Some of her work feels retro and classic, some of her work of feels edgy and modern, and some of her work is playful and almost innocent. While there is definitely a style that she feels more comfortable in, she isn’t afraid to experiment and push her vision- and her work is richer for her efforts.
There is an obvious connection between Stagg and her models- and this personal connection is captured and prevalent in many of her photos. Because Stagg is so personally intimate with her subjects, she is able to bring the viewer close and personal with her. And this intimacy doesn’t stop at her models- Stagg uses herself as a subject as well. Is it exhibitionism or is it communication? Maybe it’s a little bit of both. All I know is the end result is a fascinating and infectious combination of porn, intimacy, and joie de vivre- and I look forward to following the ongoing story.
Article by Kayla