Jean Pagliuso was born in California in 1941. After majoring in fine art at UCLA, she started out in an office setting as assistant art director of Mademoiselle Magazine. In 1969, she began her career in photography, quickly rising in the field of fashion photography. Her career as a photographer broadened to include collaborations with the film director Robert Altman, as well as Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox and Disney. In the mid-nineties she departed from her earlier commercial and fashion work and began to experiment with different printing processes, including photogravure.
Pagliuso's photographic work of the last ten years, influenced by her extensive travels to Cambodia, India, Turkey, Mexico, and Peru, addresses the themes of time, nature and decay. Through these experiences, places of ritual and endangered environments intrigued her. She works most often with a Hasselblaad camera and has a very hands-on approach to her printing. Experimenting with printing papers and techniques for each of her projects, Pagliuso’s recent use of a handmade Kaji paper for her Cambodia and India series produced engaging and ethereal images with incredible presence.
Pagliuso’s most current works include The Poultry Suite. Through this project, she uses formal portraiture on chickens. These are straight on close-ups of more than twenty kinds of chickens. She emphasizes, shape, plumage and expression for each chicken.
The artist currently maintains a studio in Chelsea.
Pagliuso’s work can be found in collections around the world, including Susan Sarandon; Robert Altman; Marc Galet; John Alexander; Edie Baskin & Skip Bronson; Eric Fischl; Kelly Klein; Michael Kennedy; Pfizer, Inc.; Mobil Corporation; Jann Wenner, Wenner Media Architects Santa Fe.