Artist Headshot: Jessica M. Kaufman

Jessica M. Kaufman

New York, NY

Jessica M. Kaufman received her BA from Yale University and her MFA from Massachusetts College of Art. The artist has work included in the permanent collection of The Jewish Museum in NYC and the Southeast Museum of Photography in Daytona Beach, and is currently exhibiting work from Panopticon with the Michael Mazzeo Gallery, the Griffin Museum of Photography (solo show), the Southeast Museum of Photography, and, later this fall, the Lishui Photography Festival in China (solo show). She has exhibited at the National Arts Club in NYC; Sasha Wolf Gallery and Susan Eley Fine Art in NYC; Rayko Photo Center in San Francisco; The Parrish Art Museum in Southampton; galleries at Columbia University, The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, University of Michigan, University of Florida, University of Buffalo, Texas Tech University, and Massachusetts College of Art.

She is a 2008 recipient of the NYSCA Individual Artist TIER Award and a NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Regrant, both administered through the Brooklyn Arts Council for her project, Seep. Her photographs have recently been published in the books RSVP Arbor (a catalog of the show at Michael Mazzeo Gallery), Nymphoto Conversations: Volume I, and Flash Forward 2007: Emerging Photographers from Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States and is featured in Flash Forward 2009, the 5th anniversary edition. Kaufman is a winner of The National Graduate Seminar Fellowship from The Photography Institute at Columbia University and a Bacon Dee Grant recipient for her project, Panopticon. She currently lives and works in New York City.


The Series Seep is about a little-known enormous and catastrophic oil spill that occurred in a body of water in Greenpoint and Newtown Creek between Brooklyn and Queens, NY.  It's an area that is both industrial and residential - a neighborhood of big industry and mostly Polish immigrants who began colonizing the area about a century ago.  There are now a number of large class-action lawsuits that have been brought against the oil companies who created this mess, but only after many people became ill.  This series is a portrait of this area, with its sense of history and decay, where there is now a largely unknown seepage of poison underlying the landscape and permeating the entire area.

About the photographic process

A positive/negative film (Polaroid Type 55) is used: a film with an actual negative in it.  The chemical is not cleared from the negative, but left to dry, where it patterns, develops crystals, and eats away at the original image - basically decaying, and then printed in that state.  This process removes the viewer's ability to immediately place the image in time: it is disorienting and announces that the work is subjective, conceptual and certainly not documentary.


2003: MFA, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA
1995: BA, Yale University, New Haven, CT


The Jewish Museum, NY
Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA
Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, FL
Texas Tech University
Sean Penn and Robin Wright Penn

Selected Exhibitions

Solo show, Panopticon, Lishui Photography Festival, Lishui, China
Solo show, Panopticon, Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA
Group show online, RSVP 1: Arbor, Michael Mazzeo Gallery, NYC
Group show, Anthology, Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, FL
Group show, Nymphoto Conversations: Volume I, Sasha Wolf Gallery, NYC
Group slideshow, Slideluck Potshow Portland, Sandbox Studios, Portland, OR
2-person show, Passages in Black and White: Recent Photography by Jessica M. Kaufman and Heather Boose Weiss, Susan Eley Fine Art, NYC

2-person show, Rayko Photo Center, San Francisco, CA
Solo Show, Seep, Stain Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
BAC 2008 Community Arts Regrant Awards Ceremony, Brooklyn Borough Hall, NY

Group show, Williamsburg Art and Historical Center, Brooklyn, NY
Group show, Selections from the Camera Club of New York’s Residency Program, CCNY, NYC
4-person show, Foursquare, National Arts Club, NYC

Selected Awards, Grants, Fellowships, and Lectures

Panel Chairperson, Brooklyn Arts Council panel on 2009 photography regrants
Guest Artist, International Center of Photography, NYC
Guest Artist, Nassau Community College, Garden City, NY
Awardee, NYSCA Individual Artist TIER  Award (for “Seep”)
Grantee, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) Regrant (for “Seep”)

Guest Artist, International Center of Photography, NYC

Grantee, “Bacon Dee Summer Sabbatical Grant” (for “Panopticon”)
Guest Artist, International Center of Photography
Resident, Camera Club of New York, NYC

Select Publications

The Boston Globe,“Weighed Down by Past Burdens,” by Mark Feeney
“RSVP: Arbor,” Michael Mazzeo Gallery (catalog)
“Good Old-Fashioned Girl Power,”
“Flash Forward 2009,” Magenta Foundation (book)
Featured image, Flak Photo,

“Flash Forward 2007,” by Susan Bright, Magenta Foundation (book)

Please note: this is an abbreviated C.V. Please visit the artist's website for further information.

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