Installation of Bunny Yeager How I Photograph Myself

Installation of Bunny Yeager How I Photograph Myself

Installation of Bunny Yeager How I Photograph Myself

Installation of Bunny Yeager How I Photograph Myself

Installation of Bunny Yeager How I Photograph Myself

Installation of Bunny Yeager How I Photograph Myself

Installation of Bunny Yeager How I Photograph Myself

Installation of Bunny Yeager How I Photograph Myself

Installation of Bunny Yeager How I Photograph Myself

Installation of Bunny Yeager How I Photograph Myself

Installation of Bunny Yeager How I Photograph Myself

Installation of Bunny Yeager How I Photograph Myself

Installation of Bunny Yeager How I Photograph Myself

Installation of Bunny Yeager How I Photograph Myself

Installation of Bunny Yeager How I Photograph Myself

Installation of Bunny Yeager How I Photograph Myself

Installation of Bunny Yeager How I Photograph Myself

Installation of Bunny Yeager How I Photograph Myself

Self Portrait in Polka Dot Bikini with Rolleicord Camera, 1963
Hand-painted fiber print mounted to board
Image Dimensions: 20 x 16 inches
Framed Dimensions: 29 x 23 inches

Bunny in Handmade Negligee (after Jean Harlow) - Miami, FL, 1963
Silver gelatin print
Image Dimensions: 21 1/2 x 17 1/2 inches
Framed Dimensions: 29 x 23 inches
Edition 1/5

Bunny in Sweater - Miami, FL, 1963
Silver gelatin print
Image Dimensions: 22 1/2 x 17 1/2 inches
Framed Dimensions: 29 x 23 inches
Edition of 5

Bunny in Lotus Position in Studio - Miami, FL, 1963
Silver gelatin print
Image Dimensions: 20 3/4 x 17 1/4 inches
Framed Dimensions: 23 x 29 inches
Edition of 5

Bunny Seated on Bed - Miami, FL, 1963
Silver gelatin print
Image Dimensions: 21 1/2  x 17 1/2 inches
Framed Dimensions: 29 x 23 inches
Edition of 5

Bunny in Lotus Position on Beach in Handmade Suit - Miami Beach, FL, 1963
Silver gelatin print
Image Dimensions: 22 x 17 1/2 inches
Framed Dimensions: 29 x 23 inches
Edition of 5

Bunny on Sun Porch - Miami, FL, 1963
Silver gelatin print
Image Dimensions: 21 3/4 x 17 1/2 inches
Framed Dimensions: 29 x 23 inches
Edition of 5

Bunny Self Portrait Viewing Photographs, Miami, FL, 1959
Silver gelatin print
Image Dimensions: 18 3/4 x 19 inches
Framed Dimensions: 29 x 23 inches
Edition of 5

Bunny at Picnic Table in Handmade Bikini - Miami, FL, 1963
Silver gelatin print
Image Dimensions: 21 1/4 x 17 inches
Framed Dimensions: 29 x 23 inches
Edition of 5

Bunny with her Burke & James 8 x 10 Camera, 1963
Digital pigment prints
29 x 23 inches
73.7 x 58.4 cm
Edition 2/5

Bunny in Black Lace with Exposure Meter, 1955
Silver gelatin print
Image Dimensions: 9 x 7 1/2 inches
Framed Dimensions: 16 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches

Self Portrait in Black Lingerie with Camera and Mirror, 1955
Silver gelatin print
Image Dimensions: 9 1/2 x 6 3/4 inches
Framed Dimensions: 16 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches

Bunny Yeager in Black Lace with Her Rolleiflex Camera, 1955
Silver gelatin print
Image Dimensions: 9 1/2 x 6 3/4 inches
Framed Dimensions: 16 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches

Bunny in transparent nightgown with breasts exposed, 1965
Silver gelatin print
Image Dimensions: 9 x 7 1/2 inches
Framed Dimensions: 16 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches

Bunny in bed nude with sheet, 1962
Silver gelatin print
Image Dimensions: 9 1/4 x 7 1/4 inches
Framed Dimensions: 16 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches

Bunny in bed covered by a sheet, 1963
Silver gelatin print
Image Dimensions: 9 x 7 1/2 inches
Framed Dimensions: 16 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches

Bunny with Typewriter, 1963
Silver gelatin print
Image Dimensions: 9 3/4 x 7 3/4 inches
Framed Dimensions: 16 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches

Bunny in 2-pc. Suit with Mirror and Camera, 1955
Silver gelatin print
Image Dimensions: 9 x 7 1/2 inches
Framed Dimensions: 16 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches

Bunny in Floral top
Vintage photograph
Image Dimensions: 10 x 8 inches
Framed Dimensions: 21 x 17 inches

Bunny with Bettie Page and Cheetahs at Africa, USA - Boca Raton, FL, 1954
Digital Pigment Print
Image Dimensions: 18.5 x 15.5 inches
Framed Dimensions: 29 x 23 inches
Edition of 5

Bettie Page Clutching her Hair at Key Biscayne, FL
Hand painted silver gelatin print
Image Dimensions: 15 7/8 x 15 inches
Framed Dimensions: 29 x 25 inches

Bettie Page reclining with stuffed animal, 1954
Silver gelatin print
Image Dimensions: 14 7/8 x 15 inches
Framed Dimensions: 29 x 23 inches
Edition of 10

Bettie Page Nude with Christmas Tree, 1954
Silver gelatin print
Image Dimensions: 15 x 15 inches
Framed Dimensions: 29 x 23 inches
Edition of 10

Bettie Page on Chris Craft with Hand Behind the Head, 1954
Silver gelatin print
Image Dimensions: 15 x 15 inches
Framed Dimensions: 29 x 23 inches
Edition of 10

Bettie Page Reclining on Sofa at Coral Gables, FL, 1954
Digital print on fine art paper
Image Dimensions: 15 x 14 3/4 inches
Framed Dimensions: 29 x 23 inches

Bunny Yeager Self Portrait with Lori Shea, Naples, FL, 1954
Silver gelatin print
Image Dimensions: 9 x 7 3/4 inches
Framed Dimensions: 16 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches

Bunny and Elaine Lekas with Nero the Leopard - Miami, FL, 1965
Silver gelatin print
Image Dimensions: 18 3/4 x 18 1/2 inches
Framed Dimensions: 29 x 23 inches
Edition of 5

Bunny Yeager "How I Photograph Myself"

Los Angeles

July 25 – August 29, 2015

Opening Reception: Saturday, July 25 from 6-8pm

Gavlak Los Angeles proudly presents a solo show of photographs by artist-model Bunny Yeager, including hand-painted photographs of Bunny, Bettie Page, numerous self-portraits, and images that reveal behind the scene secrets to how she created her work. Born Eleanor Linnea Yeager in Pittsburgh, PA in 1929, Bunny passed away in 2014 in Miami, Florida. The ironic innocence of Bunny Yeager’s pin-up format compositions is palpable in the current pop-historical climate in which pornography is an explosive international industry, with a panoramic range between entertaining and damaging. In such a climate today, Yeager’s work, and even her pseudonym “Bunny,” operate like time capsules from a softer, less harsh, more voluptuous day. Both she and her subjects embrace the performance of a sticky-sweet, hyper-gendered sexuality along with a highly studied, poolside elegance where everyone plays along with full disclosure. What sets Yeager apart is her intentional authorship as a woman photographer in a man’s world of looking at women. The multiplicity of identities she assumed for her herself and her “girls” is itself a lifelong conceptual act, as is the conscious presence of the camera as a second subject or muse. The apparatus is often revealed in her glamour shots, as if to reinforce her authorship as photographer.

 

Yeager was a model, beauty pageant queen, promoter, author, designer, scriptwriter, wife, mother of two, and a sought-after photographer and artist. Even though socially it was unheard of for a woman of her background to be an artist, she was on the cover of U.S. Camera in 1954, but the headline: “The World’s Prettiest Photographer” points to the contradictory nature of what it meant then to be both model and photographer.

 

Yeager moved to Miami at 17 where she completed high school and studied photography at The Lindsay-Hopkins Technical College. It was then, in 1954, that she was asked by actress Bettie Page to photograph her. This lead to the famous January 1955 Playboy Magazine centerfold of Page wearing nothing but a Santa hat, launching Yeager’s career as a nationally recognized photographer. Soon after, Yeager began to write “How To Photograph” books, such as her 1957 How to Photograph the Female Figure, publishing thirty books in total.

 

One piece, which perfectly captures the artist in her practice, is the photograph of blonde bombshell Bunny with a lipstick red tripod, red shoes, and red sweater. Her exquisite left leg points in a pose that is so intentional it is practically contortionist. Her toes pull the camera’s matching cherry red selfie-cord, revealing the subversive nature of the model and artist all at once. Given that fashion photographers were men and models were women only adds to the transgressive tone of this image and of Bunny’s extensive oeuvre of photographs.

 

Yeager’s books in the 1960s such as How to Photograph Nudes and How I Photograph Myself influenced such artist-photographers as Diane Arbus and Cindy Sherman. Her work may be viewed within a longer history of subversive self-photographers, from the infamous Countess di Castiglione, known as “la divina contessa,” who authored countless portraits of her face, body, costumes, and legs, over her entire lifetime and career as Italian consort to Emperor Napoleon. Also Vogue model-photographer Lee Miller comes to mind, photographing herself at times through the 1930s, with Man Ray as her muse and vice versa. We may even consider Bunny’s work within the history of women and self-portraiture: Anguissola, Gentilleschi, Leyster, Cameron, and Kahlo. But the glamorous side of Bunny’s projected self and others has masked these important associations. It is as if seduced for decades, we are unable to see past the beauty. We stop in our tracks at bombshell, bunny, and blonde. The discourse ends with pin-up girl. But this is perhaps just the blinding starting point for a conversation about how the human form can be both: mother and model, beautiful and meaningful, innocent and intelligent, experienced and engaging. The many faces and figurative hats (hairdos) of Bunny Yeager are revealed for the first time in Los Angeles.

 

Bunny Yeager’s work was featured in 2010 at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh in the exhibition Bunny Yeager: The Legendary Queen of the Pin-Up, curated by Emily Hetzel and Eric Shiner. In 2012 she exhibited in Miami, Dallas, Berlin, and Bulgaria and published her retrospective book Bunny Yeager's Darkroom: The Golden Age of Pin-up with Rizzoli New York. In 2013 she had her first retrospective at the Museum of Art Ft. Lauderdale, curated by Peter Boswell. Her work was featured at Gavlak in Palm Beach in 2014 and her work is represented in Europe by Galerie Schuster Berlin, in Miami by The Center for Visual Communication and Harold Golen Gallery, in Dallas by PDNB Gallery, and in Los Angeles and Palm Beach by Gavlak.
-Lisa Jaye Young, Ph.D.
 

For more information concerning the exhibition, please contact Tabor Story at tabor@gavlakgallery.com, or (323) 467-5700.

 

 

Press

Huffington Post

Meet Bunny Yeager, The Iconic Pinup Model Turned Photographer

Los Angeles Times

Bunny Yeager, a glamour girl and glamour photographer in one

Los Angeles Magazine

See the Iconic Self-Portraits of the Woman Who Made Bettie Page Famous

Wall Street International

How I Photograph Myself
25 Jul — 29 Aug 2015 at Gavlak Gallery in Los Angeles, United States