Amy Elkins is a visual artist currently based in California.  She works in photography,  installation and sculpture and has spent the past fifteen years researching, creating and exhibiting work that explores the multifaceted nature of masculine identity as well as the psychological and sociological impacts of incarceration.  Most recently Elkins' work pivots to explore notions of self as well as her family's deeply rooted and complex history in Southern California as an 8th generation born on Tongva land in the greater Los Angeles area.  Her approach is series-based, steeped in research and oscillates between formal, conceptual and documentary.

Elkins has been exhibited and published both nationally and internationally, including at The High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA; South Bend Museum of Art in South Bend IN; MSU Broad Museum in Lansing, MI; Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna; the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, AZ; the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; North Carolina Museum of Art and more.  Her photographs have been published in American Photo, Conveyor, Dear Dave, EyeMazing, Financial Times, Harpers, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, NY Arts, New York Times, New Yorker, PDN, Real Simple, Stella and Vice among many others.  

Elkins first book Black is the Day, Black is the Night won the 2017 Lucie Independent Book Award. It was shortlisted for the 2017 Mack First Book Award and the 2016 Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation Photobook Prize as well as listed as one of the Best Photobooks of 2016 by TIME, Humble Arts Foundation, Photobook Store Magazine and Photo-Eye among others.  

Additional book publications include The Portrait. Photography as a Stage From Robert Mapplethorpe to Nan Goldin; The Sports Show: Athletics as Image and Spectacle; Photographs Not Taken; By the Glow of the Jukebox: The Americans List; Keeper of the Hearth; Next Generation: Contemporary American Photography; and The Photographer’s Playbook among others.

Elkins co-founded Women in Photography (WIPNYC) with Cara Phillips in 2008.  The primarily internet-based project showcased the work of lens-based women artists outside of the traditional model of the commercial art world.  Since its inception, Women in Photography awarded over seventeen thousand dollars in grants to artists and collaborated with Aperture Foundation, LACMA, MoCP, Leslie Tonkonow, Lightwork, P.P.O.W Gallery, Humble Arts Foundation and many independent women curators.  

Download CV HERE

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Parting Words, South Bend Museum of Art, South Bend, IN.

Black is the Day, Black is the Night, Vita Arts Center, Ventura, CA.

Amy Elkins: Photographs of Contemporary Masculinity, Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion, 
        Orange Coast College.  Costa Mesa. CA

Black is the Day, Black is the Night, Benaki Museum, Athens Photo Festival. Athens, Greece

Black is the Day, Black is the Night, The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA

Black is the Day, Black is the Night, Cress Gallery, Chattanooga, TN

Black is the Day, Black is the Night, International Festival of Photography, Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Black is the Day, Black is the Night, Houston Center for Photography, Houston, TX

In Position: Amy Elkins & Jona Frank, DeSoto Gallery, Los Angeles

Black is the Day, Black is the Night, Aperture Gallery, New York

Looking & Looking: Jen Davis & Amy Elkins, Light Work Gallery, Syracuse, NY

Elegant Violence, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

Wallflower, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York


When Light Becomes Form: Processing Photography 
     San Francisco State Art Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Per(Sister): Incarcerated Women in Louisiana, MSU Broad Museum, Lansing, MI
Lava Cake, Thomas Welton Stanford Art Gallery, Stanford, CA
Looking West, A Survey of Art on the Left Coast, Mark Moore Gallery/Artsy

Right of Return, Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, PA 
Per(Sister): Incarcerated Women in Louisiana, Ford Foundation, New York, NY
Legacy Exhibition, Museum of Ventura County, Ventura, CA
Layer Cake, Coulter Art Gallery, Stanford, CA

Per(Sister): Incarcerated Women in Louisiana, Newcomb Museum, New Orleans
American Truth: A Biennial Exhibition, Visual Arts Gallery, New York, NY

A Recounting, Guerrero Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Due Process, Goethe Institut Ludlow 38, New York, NY.

Notions of Home, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York, NY.
Man Up, Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art, Chaffey College,
       Rancho Cucamonga,CA.  

Inside/Outside: Prison Narratives, Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art, Chaffey
       College, Rancho Cucamonga, CA.  

Performance: Contemporary Photography from the Douglas Nielsen Collection
       Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, AZ.

Recent Acquisitions, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC

Andy Warhol and his Contemporaries: an urban milieu, Flaten Art Museum, 
      Northfield,    MN

The Sports Show, Minneapolis Institute of Arts Museum, Minneapolis, MN

Homesick, Carnegie Art Museum, Oxnard, CA.
Incognito: The Hidden Self-Portrait, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York, NY

The Portrait. Photography as a Stage: From Robert Mapplethorpe to Nan Goldin.
        Curated by Peter Weiermair, The Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria


The High Museum Permanent Collection, Atlanta, GA.
North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC
Light Work Permanent Collection, Syracuse, NY
Aperture Foundation Permanent Collection, New York, NY
SFMoMA Research Library (BITDBITN Book)
National Art Library, Victoria & Albert Museum (BITDBITN Book)
Special Collections at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (BITDBITN Book)
HAAS Arts Special Collections Yale University (BITDBITN Book)


The Huntington, Independent Research Scholar, San Marino, CA

Edwin Anthony & Adelaine Boudreaux Cadogan Award Recipient,
      The San Francisco Foundation, San Francisco, CA
Pauline Brown Fund Recipient for Advanced Research in American Art,
       Stanford University, Stanford, CA

The Huntington, Independent Research Scholar, San Marino, CA

Lucie Independent Book Prize
MACK First Book Awards- Shortlist

Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards - Shortlist
Diane Marek Visiting Artist, Chattanooga, TN

Peter S Reed Foundation Grant

Aperture Portfolio Prize
Latitude Artist-in-Residence, Chicago, IL

Villa Waldberta International Artist-in-Residence, Munich, Germany

Lightwork Artist-in-Residence, Syracuse, NY.


Instructor, Practice, Practice, Practice: Cultivating Creative Rituals and Routines 
      Stanford University, Department of Art & Art History, Stanford, CA
Teaching Assistant, Stanford University, Department of Art & Art History, Stanford, CA
Mentor for Honors in the Art Capstone Program, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Instructor, Intro to Digital Photography, Stanford University, Department of
       Art & Art History, Stanford, CA
Teaching Assistant, Stanford University, Department of Art & Art History, Stanford, CA
Mentor for Honors in the Art Capstone Program, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Teaching Assistant, Stanford University, Department of Art & Art History, Stanford, CA

2017- 2018
Mentor, The Oxnard Plain Collective, Oxnard, CA

2008- 2020
Co-Founder, Curator, Mentor, Women in Photography (WIPNYC)

Visiting Artist and Lecturer, Various Educational and Art Institutions in the U.S. and abroad



Ollman, Leah. “Challenging Assumptions about Men.” Los Angeles Times, 23, 
Nov. 2018: E2. Print

Beers, Joel. “Amy Elkins’ ‘Photographs of Contemporary Masculinity’ at OCC Shows the New Male Gaze.” OC Weekly, 21, Nov. 2018. Web

Ollman, Leah. “Critics’ Choices: Amy Elkins: Photographs of Contemporary Masculinity.”  Los Angeles Times 18, Nov. 2018: E10. Print

Brook, Pete. “Prison Index.” Aperture. Issue 230: 104. Print

Cornwall, Debi and Amy Elkins. “Confronting Incarceration’s Destructive Invisibility.” Epistem: Prindle Institute for Ethics at DePauw University, 2018. 20-33. Print

Alexander, Andrew. “Photographer Amy Elkins' Work Explores Themes of Incarceration.” ArtsATL, 10 Jan. 2018. Web

Vilela, Bruno. World, Image, World. Notebook of Critical Reflections on Photography. Belo Horizonte, BR: FIF, 2018. 194-199. Print

Baricco, Alessandro and Scuola Holden. La Seconda Luna. 2nd vol., Bologna, IT: Zanichelli, 2018. 476-477. Print


Cuddehe, Mary. “A Matter of Life: The Death Penalty as a Conservative Conundrum.” Harper’s.March. 2017: 60. Print

Bogert, Jeremiah M. “Work by Women Photographers in Santa Monica Exhibit Bound by Dedication to Social Justice.” Los Angeles Times, Mar. 2017. Web

Blight, Daniel C. “Amy Elkins Black Is the Day Black Is the Night.” 1000 Words, 2017. Web

Hallberg, Garth Risk. A Field Guide to the North American Family. New York, NY: Alfred A.Knopf, 2017: 87. Print


Elkins, Amy. Black Is the Day, Black Is the Night. 1st ed., Oxnard, CA: Self Published, 2016. Print

TIME Photo Dept. TIME Selects The Best Photobooks of 2016. Time. Nov. 2016. Web

Iaboni, Lisa. “Blurred Lives.” The Marshall Project, 3 June 2018.  Web

Osberg, Annabel. “Tough / Tender: Amy Elkins’ Male Protagonists.” Artillery Magazine. May/June 2016: 40-41. Print

Calkin, Jessamy. “Soldier of Fortune.” Telegraph Magazine. April 2016: 42. Print

Cobb, Jelani. “The Matter Of Black Lives.” The New Yorker. Mar. 14. 2016: 34. Print

Asboe, Eric. “All Hands.” Bad at Sports, Feb. 2016. Web

Cotton, Charlotte. Public/Private/Portrait. Brooklyn, NY: Romke Hoogwaerts, 2016. 22. Print


Griffin, Jonathan. “Ed Ruscha: L.A.'s Artist.” Financial Times Weekend Magazine, 30 Oct. 2015: 24-28. Print

Elkins, Amy. “The Back Page.” Photograph. Jan/Feb. 2015: 120. Print


Fulford, Jason and Gregory Halpern. The Photographer’s Playbook. New York, NY: Aperture Foundation, 2014. 92. Print

McLaren, Stephen and Bryan Formhals. Photographers’ Sketchbook. London, GB: Thames & Hudson, 2014. 80-85. Print

Bittner, Michele. “Can Recidivism Rates Be Lowered through Internet Coding?” Nonprofit Quarterly, 3 Dec. 2014. Web

Farago, Jason. “Culture - Pictures at an Execution: The Condemned in Art.” BBC, Oct. 2014. Web


Brook, Pete. “Amy Elkins' Black Is The Day, Black Is The Night.” Prison Photography, 16 Dec. 2013.  Web

Brook, Pete. “Amy Elkins: Black Is the Day, Black Is the Night.” Daylight, 10 Dec. 2013. Web


Little, David Eugene. The Sports Show: Athletics as Image and Spectacle. Minneapolis, MN: University Of Minnesota Press, 2012. 130-131. Print

Eskenazi, Jason. The Americans List. By the Glow of the Jukebox. New York, NY: Red Hook Editions, 2012. 81. Print

Steacy, Will. Photographs Not Taken a Collection of Photographers Essays. (n.p.): Daylight Community Arts Foundation, 2012. 53-54. Print

Sullivan, Bill. “Amy Elkins” Contact Sheet. No 167. 2012: 10-15. Print

Lavalette, Shane. “Looking and Looking.” Contact Sheet. No. 165. 2012: 1-22. Print

Elkins, Amy. “Photographers Studio: Amy Elkins.” Conveyor. No.3. 2012: 110. Print

Aram, Kim. “Amy Elkins” Blink. Aug. 2012: 45-54. Print

Jackson, Mitchell S. “Oversoul.” Vice. June. 2012: 70-77. Print


Barthes, Roland. “Double Zoo.” Harper’s. Dec. 2011: 22-23. Print


Elkins, Amy. “15 Minutes.” Vision. Oct. 2010: 188-195. Print


Matt, Gerald, and Peter Weiermair. The Portrait: Photography as a Stage. (n.p.): Verlag für Moderne Kunst, 2009. 72-77. Print

Kraciuk, Bartek, “Women in Photography.” K Mag. March. 2009: 19. Print


Elkins, Amy. Beyond This Place: 269 Intervals and Other Various Assemblages. 1st ed., Brooklyn, NY: Self Published, 2008. Print

Feinstein, Jon. The Collector’s Guide to Emerging Art Photography. New York, NY: Humble Arts Foundation, 2008. 48. Print

Jimmy Moffatt. “Growing Wallflowers.” NY Arts. Vol.13. Jan/Feb. 2008: 85. Print


Dominus, Susan. “Tense Times at Bronxville High.” The New York Times Magazine. Sept.30.2007: 66-71. Print

Holtzman, Anna. “Amy Elkins” Eyemazing. Issue 1, 2007: 100-107. Print

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