Laurel Nakadate

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Laurel Nakadate
Born (1975-12-15) December 15, 1975 (age 40)
Austin, Texas, United States
Nationality American
Known for Photography, Video, film

Laurel Nakadate (born December 15, 1975) is an American video artist, filmmaker, and photographer living in New York City.


Laurel Nakadate was born in Austin, Texas and raised in Ames, Iowa.

Nakadate's 2005 solo show at Danziger Projects, "Love Hotel and Other Stories", was featured in The New York Times, The Village Voice, and Flash Art. Art critic Jerry Saltz named her a "standout" in the 2005 "Greater New York" show at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, N.Y.

Since then, Nakadate's work has been exhibited at the Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Asia Society, New York; the Reina Sofia, Madrid; the Berlin Biennial; Grand Arts, Kansas City; and at Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York. A ten-year retrospective of her work, called Only the Lonely, was on view at MoMA PS1 from January 23 to August 8, 2011.

A cover interview with the artist appeared in the October 2006 issue of The Believer.[1]

Nakadate's first feature-length film, Stay The Same Never Change, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, on January 16, 2009, and was featured in the 2009 New Directors/New Films Festival at The Museum of Modern Art and Lincoln Center. Her second feature, The Wolf Knife, premiered at the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival, and was nominated for a 2010 Gotham Award and a 2011 Independent Spirit Award.

Nakadate currently lives and works in New York City. She is represented by Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects.


Laurel Nakadate is known for powerful video and photographic works in which the artist, her subjects, and the viewer are entangled in an unsettling dance of seduction, power, trust, tenderness, loss, and betrayal. The darkly hallucinatory discomfort of fever dreams permeates her newest videos and photographs. Recently, Nakadate has been exploring work relating to her genealogy, which includes such eminent distant relatives as Anne Hutchinson, Jonathan Swift, Mary Dyer, and Sir Walter Raleigh. She also counts among her relatives the McCoys of the Hatfield-McCoy feud.


New York Times critic Ken Johnson called her "smart and scarily adventurous." She was also featured in the book 25 Under 25: Up-and-Coming American Photographers.

Art critic John Yau, in an article in The Brooklyn Rail on her 2011 retrospective, writes to the artist: "You explore a more unstable terrain, always intent on making 'a narrow escape,' the only option you see for yourself. Meanwhile, the middle aged, potbellied man is condemned to pirouette, again and again. It is his one true moment of beauty and tenderness recorded for posterity—you have given him his 'narrow escape' and he knows it, as he does what he is told."[2]

New York Times critic Roberta Smith reviewed very favorably Nakadate's recent show, "Strangers and Relations (2013)," a show consisting of portraits of Americans distantly related to the artist (and located through DNA-testing), calling it "unusually gripping," and adding, "Ms. Nakadate’s nocturnes envelop us in darkness and tenderness and, as usual in her work, an unexpected intimacy opens up."

Selected bibliography[edit]

Kourtesis, Danielle, "Q&A with Visual Artist Turned Filmmaker, Laurel Nakadate," Flavorwire, July 23, 2009
Musetto, V.A., “An Undie Achiever,” The New York Post, June 21, 2009
Saltz, Jerry, “Hey There Mister,” New York Magazine, June 15–22, 2009
Rosenberg, Karen, “Laurel Nakadate,” The New York Times, June 26, 2009
Cruz, Araceli, "Caught Black-Handed: Artist Provokes Subjects to Look at Her," The Village Voice, July 1, 2009.

Asper, Colleen. “Laurel Nakadate & Lilly McElroy,” Beautiful/Decay, Issue Y (Winter 2008)

Baker, R.C. "Best in Show," The Village Voice, March 7, 2007.
Finkel, Jori. "Saying the F-Word," ArtNews, February 2007.
Iaccarino, Clara. "Saddle Up for a Wild Video Ride," The Sydney Morning Herald, March 22, 2007.
Kastner, Jeffrey. “Laurel Nakadate,” Artforum, January 2007.

Baker, RC. "Best in Show," The Village Voice, Nov 16, 2006.
Indrisek, Scott. “Laurel Nakadate,” The Believer, October 2006.
Kunitz, Daniel. “Defying the Definitive,” The New York Sun, Sept 14, 2006.
Ribas, João. “Sex, Danger, and Videotape,” The New York Sun, Oct 23, 2006.
Rosenberg, Karen. “Fall Preview – Art,” New York Magazine, Sept 4 - 11, 2006.
Smith, Roberta. “A Mélange of Asian Roots and Shifting Identities,” The New York Times, Sept 8, 2006.

Eleey, Peter. “Review: Greater New York,” Frieze, May 2005.
Ichikawa, Akiko. “Love Hotel and Other Stories,” Flash Art, 2005.
Johnson, Ken. “Art in Review: Laurel Nakadate,” New York Times, May 6, 2005.
Kunitz, Daniel. “Art Review 25,” Art Review, 2005.
Remy, Patrick. “Eight Women,” French Vogue, March 2004.
Saltz, Jerry. “Whatever Laurel Wants,” The Village Voice, May 2, 2005.


  1. ^ The Believer
  2. ^ Yau, John (May 2011). "Laurel Nakadate: Only the Lonely". The Brooklyn Rail. 

External links[edit]