Zoe Leonard was born in New York in 1961 and began photographing while 15, turning more professional in the 80s. There isn’t much this artist hasn’t done since she dropped out of high school. Despite living most of her adult life in New York CIty, she has also spent 2 years in solitude in Alaska and travelled to India, both being major influences on her work. Her most celebrated exhibitions and work include documenta IX (her first exhibition to draw attention to this contemporary artist), Strange Fruit (for David), which includes photos of fruits’ skin sewn together and decorated with wire and other material, her 2000 exhibition of old dolls found in flea markets, and more recently Derrotero.
This analog artist manages to maintain a strangely intimate relationship with the subjects and the objects she photographs. in a very modern way, her work is mythical. Despite many switching to digital because of the new era, Leonard has remained faithful to her true love: film photography. This attitude perfectly fits her accute sense of history in everything she shoots. Her work is not only a strong representation of reality but also a constant questioning, an ongoing investigation on cultural themes like gender roles, globalization, our relationship to nature and to history, but also the role of photography itself, as an eye that doesn’t just depict reality but is actually an important part of creating it.