Amy Shapiro has created art in abandoned industrial spaces, New York City streets, the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, and other American iconic landscapes for the past thirty years. She began as a performance and installation artist, however for the past five years photography has been her primary creative medium. Her process of taking night photographs echoes the time spent making other types of artwork in semi-legal and unusual circumstances. Amy is co-owner of Luxlab in New York City which serves the photographic arts community. She has received multiple grants from the Burning Man organization, and has shown her photographs at Gallery 263, Sage Gallery, the Davis Orton Gallery, the Vermont Center for Photography, The Curated Fridge, The Midwest Center for Photography, Superchief Gallery, and the Head On Photo Festival. She has a BFA in painting from the School of Visual Arts.
Painting with light feels exciting. I create in the darkness of night walking through the image carrying a digital light source which places an image I have chosen into the photograph. The images that I decide to insert are photographs of myself either from my career as a performance artist or from my childhood. As the shoot evolves I adjust the placement of the image that I am painting, the speed or pattern which I move, or the settings on my digital light tool to create my vision. Time itself is important in the length of exposure time used in the photograph, and also unimportant in the meditative state that is induced when I hit that creative sweet spot. How my body moves affects the image, the terrain of the site, and outside light sources such as cars, airplanes, streetlights, the stars and the moon.
Night Messages is a photographic series taken at night with words written in the images that are made by painting with light during a long exposure time. Pairing quotes with photographs of public spaces is an intersection of painting, public art and photography.
The relationship between the images and quotes is not literal and so it is left to the viewer to make the connection between these two elements. This gives every viewer the opportunity to have a unique narrative experience.
There is a rich history in art of the insertion of words in public spaces. Night Messages is the next step taken from the work of Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger and countless graffiti artists.
Welcome to New York 1985 - 2005
Amy Shapiro released the photo series Welcome to New York 1985 - 2005 in 2016. It is the story of the artists, the neighborhoods and the unique time period in which they worked.
Amy Shapiro released the photo series Medical Panoramas in 2014 in which she used photography as a way to empower herself when she felt vulnerable undergoing cancer treatment.