Elena Dorfman (born 1965, Boston, MA; lives Los Angeles, CA) is a visual artist working in photography, video and Jacquard tapestry. A finalist for the BMW Prize from Paris Photo, Dorfman’s photographs and video installations have been exhibited in both the United States and worldwide at venues including Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, as well as the Palazzo Strozzi, Florence and the Triennale di Milano, Milan, both Italy. Her work is held in numerous collections including the Cincinnati Art Museum, OH; Denver Art Museum, CO; Bass Art Museum, Miami; Newcomb Art Museum, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA; Palm Springs Art Museum, FL; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Her work is the subject of three monographs, Empire Falling (Bologna: Damiani, 2013), Fandomania: Characters & Cosplay (New York: Aperture, 2007) and Still Lovers (New York: Channel Photographics, 2005). Dorfman lectures regularly at museums, universities, and colleges. Her work has been included in several symposia, including In the Uncanny Valley: Encounters in Arts, Media and Continental Philosophy (University for the Arts, Zurich, Switzerland) and Refugees Endure: WWII Displaced Persons versus Today and the Lessons Learned Conference (Tulane School of Law, New Orleans, LA). Dorfman’s work from Still Lovers was the focus of several documentary films and the inspiration for the feature film, Lars and the Real Girl.
Statement from the Artist:
Throughout her two-decade career, Dorfman has explored marginalized communities and neglected landscapes. “Transmutations”, her most recent work, utilizes tapestry to follow the thread of her maternal lineage through photographs of Albania, endeavoring to weave the biographical with the socio-political. Prior to her landscape work, Dorfman was known for her intensive portrait series that combined beauty with atypical subject matter. Identity—sexual, social, cultural and environmental—is a root element of her work.