Laura Heyman

Artist Statement

As an artist, my work spans photography, video, performance and installation. But photography is central – not just the process of making photographs, but the various conceptual frameworks that have informed the historical and contemporary practice of the medium.

My recent photographic work uses the studio portrait to explore embedded hierarchies between photographers, subjects and viewers. Performance is of course inherent to the medium of photography; any individual posing for a portrait arranges and edits not just their appearance, but their persona.

I have deep curiosity about the performance taking place on both sides of the camera, the ways power can shift between the photographer and the photographed and whether the image resulting from this exchange is more a representation of one or the other.

Portraiture has a way of illuminating the politics of the body, the myriad ways a body can be present in society as a political element. To make a portrait, all parties involved must also negotiate a politics of representation. Who is most often in front of the lens, who is behind it, and, most importantly, what does this mean for the creators, participants, and consumers of the images being produced?


Laura Heyman is an artist and curator based in Syracuse, New York. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at The Deutsch Polen Institute, Darmstadt, Germany, Senko Studio, Viborg, Denmark, Light Work Gallery, Syracuse New York, Silver Eye Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA, Philadelphia Photographic Arts Center, Philadelphia, PA, The United Nations, New York, NY and The National Portrait Gallery, London, UK.

She has received grants from the Ragdale Foundation, Light Work, Silver Eye Center For Photography, and NYFA. Her work has been reviewed and profiled in The New Yorker, Contact Sheet, The Women’s Review of Books, Frontiers, and ARTnews.

Check out Laura’s website for more information.