Amy Elkins, ‘Adam (Full Back), Princeton, NJ’, 2010, Yancey Richardson Gallery

Series: Elegant Violence

About Amy Elkins

Amy Elkins intimate yet formal portrait work stems out of an exploration of masculinity and male identity often within constructed or impermanent environments. Working in series, her earlier work, Wallflower (2004-2008), looks into the nuances of gender identity and vulnerability. She later went on to investigate aspects of male identity and athleticism through projects Elegant Violence (2010), where she documented young Ivy League rugby players moments after a game, marked by bruises and cuts; and Danseur (2012), looking to young male ballet dancers moments after intensive training in Copenhagen, Denmark. In 2009 Elkins began working on Black is the Day, Black is the Night, a project that stretched over a span of 8 years. The work, which was made directly through correspondence with men serving life and death row sentences in some of the most maximum security prisons in the US, explores how memory and notions of self are impacted by isolation and long-term incarceration. In 2016 Elkins returned to the Wallflower portrait. Though unlike the original series, which aimed the lens at cisgender men almost entirely photographed within her personal space, Wallflower II explores a much broader sense of masculine identity- shot in the personal space of strangers in urban and rural Georgia upon first meeting and found through online calls / searches surrounding ideas of masculinity and gender in the American South.

American, b. 1979, Venice Beach, California, based in Los Angeles, CA, United States

Group Shows

2018
Los Angeles,
Photography