Leah Edelman-Brier

Leah Edelman-Brier is a visual artist primarily using the medium of photography. She received her B.F.A. from Rhode Island College and holds a M.F.A. in Art Photography from Syracuse University. As an artist, she is interested in family and the female body. She has shown her work in a number of galleries across the United States and has had her work published internationally. In 2016 she became the youngest person awarded the McKnight Fellowship.
Leah was born and raised in Providence, RI. She is currently living and working in Saint Paul, MN.
LIKES: radical body acceptance, anything squishy, cats, & cake.
DISLIKES: mint flavoring, spelling, misogyny, & the government.

Femme Physique

The flesh and the fantasy.
Taboos of sexuality,
The harm of objectification.
Through the pathway of desire,
Finding femininity.
The hardline connection to motherhood.
Our choices, our womb.
Anticipation of fear.
The myth of beauty.
Pushing normative perceptions of womanhood.
The floral and the fertile.
A complex meal of anxiety and love.
My birth.


Pulled to the body as a way of investigating femininity, gaze, and sexuality in juxtaposition with wilting or grotesque qualities and the resilience of the body. Women are taught to hide their taboo attributes and the perceptions of attraction become twisted and cloudy as women age. Through image making, I create a means of empowerment by exposing the strengths and flaws of the female body. I use the lens of feminism and aspects of art history to acknowledge the female experience and its power. My images toe-the-line of narrative and figurative artforms using allegory and metaphor to explore feelings of apprehension, love, and discomfort. These concepts mix to obscure and reveal aspects of the body versus our learned stereotypes. The photographs push back at the beauty myth and take power away from the male gaze by exposing the underbelly of the female experience. I aim to push these secret taboos to the forefront in attempts to explore and normalize them.

I use photography to cross-examine my own fears of womanhood created by what society has ingrained within me to believe as successful beauty and femininity. It has taught us to hide our taboo attributes, to be skinny; that without certain characteristics or having the opposite of them, we become less desirable, less beautiful, ugly. Not fitting the standards of beauty myself has led me to wage war against it. In today’s culture where women’s rights are at risk, our fears minimized, and pain generalized, I am driven to expose the hidden truths of womanhood. The images embrace and exaggerate those feminine stereotypes to confront the viewer with their absurdity and to underline the narrow-mindedness of the patriarchy.

To view more of Leah Edelman-Brier’s work please visit their website.