Amy Elkins (b. 1979 Venice, CA) is a photographer currently based in the Greater Los Angeles area. She received her BFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She has been exhibited and published both nationally and internationally, including at The High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA; Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna, Austria; the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, AZ; the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; North Carolina Museum of Art; among others. Elkins has been awarded The Lightwork Artist-in-Residence in Syracuse, NY in 2011, the Villa Waldberta International Artist-in-Residence in Munich, Germany in 2012, the Aperture Prize and the Latitude Artist-in-Residence in 2014 and The Peter S. Reed Foundation Grant in 2015.
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.
The Golden State
The Golden State examines California’s death row, the largest death row population in the United States (currently at 746). The body of work was created using state provided information and mugshots for the entire 746 predominantly male death row inmates, organized and compiled by last names with each layer treated identically over a golden colored canvas. The more densely populated, the less of the original golden color remains. The resulting composite portraits confront the undeniable racial makeup of California’s death row (where 66.75% are minorities*) as well as the inevitable loss of identity created by mass incarceration. This is a small selection of the twenty-six pieces that were created.
To view more of Amy Elkins’s work please visit her website.