Zoë Buckman

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Zoë Buckman
Artist Zoe Buckman.jpg
Born (1985-09-13) September 13, 1985 (age 32)
Hackney, East London, UK
Occupation Artist, photographer, producer
Spouse(s) David Schwimmer
(m. 2010; sep. 2017)
Children 1
Relatives Alec Guinness (great uncle)
Website zoebuckman.com

Zoë Buckman (born 1985)[1] is a British artist, photographer, and producer.

Early life[edit]

Buckman was born in Hackney, East London, UK,[1] to television writer and playwright Jennie Buckman, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts head of acting from 1986 to 2007, and Nick Blatchley, a government health official. Her uncle is Peter Buckman, an English writer and literary agent,[2] and her paternal grandmother was the sister of Sir Alec Guinness's wife.[2]


Buckman is known for her Present Life, Every Curve, Mostly It's Just Uncomfortable, and Let Her Rave artwork series. She is a multimedia artist working in photography, embroidery, sculpture, neon and installation.[1]

Present Life[edit]

Present Life examines the temporary nature and beauty of life from the focal-point of the exhibit, Buckman's plastinated placenta.[3] After the birth of Buckman's daughter, Cleo, Buckman was informed that her placenta had deteriorated and could have caused the premature death of her child had she not been born.[4] Buckman preserved her placenta through plastination and used the experience to inform her Present Life art series. In the series, Buckman's plastinated placenta is shown encased in marble.[5]

Present Life was featured in several publications such as Viper Magazine,[6] W,[4] BlackBook,[7] and ArtNet News.[8] It was shown in its entirety at Garis & Hahn Gallery in New York.[9]

Every Curve[edit]

Every Curve brings together Buckman's love of 1990s rap lyrics from The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur and her Feminist ideology through an installation of embroidery on vintage women's lingerie. Buckman hand embroiders rap lyrics onto vintage garments to explore the conflict between feminism and hip-hop.[10][11]

The art series explores the dialogue between the misogynistic lyrics within rap and the uplifting, pro-choice, Feminist content found within the text.[12] Every Curve "illustrates the oppositional perceptions of woman as sexual object, woman as love, and woman as creator; perceptions which, with recourse to history, remain unchanged", stated art critic Hannah-Rosanne Poulton of A Taste for Art.[13]

Every Curve was featured in several publications such as Cultured Magazine,[14] The Huffington Post,[15] W Magazine,[16] and LA Times.[17]

Mostly It's Just Uncomfortable[edit]

Mostly It’s Just Uncomfortable is Buckman’s response to the attack on Planned Parenthood in the United States and the consequent lack of access to free sexual health care for underserved women and the attempted removal of a woman’s right to make choices concerning her own body.[18] The body of work includes gynecological and boxing imagery and objects.

Two of the neon works from the series, Champion and Champ have been featured in the inaugural exhibition of For Freedoms, an artist-run Super PAC, at Jack Shainman Gallery[19][20] and Rock The Vote's Truth to Power exhibition at the 2016 Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia.[21][22]

Works from Mostly It's Just Uncomfortable have been featured in several publications and media outlets such as Time Out,[23] Fox 5 News,[24] and The Creators Project.[25]

Let Her Rave[edit]

Let Her Rave is a response to a line in Keats’ poem Ode on Melancholy.[26] The work in this series is about the society’s control of women and their bodies through patriarchal constructs.[27] Though she has been a long time Keats’ admirer,[28] the artist was unable to resolve the line ‘Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows / Imprison her soft hand, and let her rave.’[26]

Sculptures of boxing gloves trimmed with vintage wedding dresses that hang from the ceiling as well as a powerful neon adorned with wedding veils[27] explore the complex aggressions that women face each day[29] and the idea that they must fight in response.[28] Further in terms of matrimony they suggest the weight, strength, and delicacy of marriage and its impact on womanhood.[26]

Works from Let Her Rave have been featured in several publications and media outlets such as Interview Magazine,[26] Hyperallergic,[28] Vogue,[30] and The Huffington Post.[29]

Collaborations and public projects[edit]

For Freedoms[edit]

Buckman is a member of For Freedoms,[31] the first artist-run Super PAC founded by artists Eric Gottesman and Hank Willis Thomas.[31] She has participated in several projects with the organization including an exhibition at Jack Shainman, New York, NY;[32] a bus bench with Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago, IL;[33] a billboard -‘’Grab ‘Em By the Ballots’’ - in Harrisburg, PA;[34] and a political campaign advertisement for W Magazine featuring Jemima Kirke.[35][36]

New York Live Arts mural[edit]

Zoë Buckman and Natalie Frank collaborated on Buckman’s first public project, a mural at New York Live Arts during the Spring of 2017 titled We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident.[37] The piece was a response to election of Donald Trump and it utilizes misogynistic text gathered from statements that former and current male politicians have made about women and their bodies.[38]

Personal life[edit]

In 2007, Buckman began a relationship with actor and director David Schwimmer.[39] In March 2010, Schwimmer announced their engagement,[40] and Buckman married Schwimmer in a small ceremony in June.[41][42] In 2011 Buckman and Schwimmer's daughter was born.[43][44] The couple announced in April 2017 that they were separating.[39]


  1. ^ a b c "About". Zoe Buckman official website. Archived from the original on August 18, 2016. Retrieved April 5, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Bloom, Nate (October 21, 2010). "Schwimmer's secret wedding, Another new Jewish couple, ..." J. The Jewish News of Northern California. Archived from the original on February 14, 2017. 
  3. ^ Wholey, M.A. (July 18, 2015). "Zoë Buckman's Plastinated Placenta Probes the Beauty of Birth". Artsy. 
  4. ^ a b Zhong, Fan (February 27, 2015). "Zoe Buckman's Life Force". W. 
  5. ^ Cunningham, Erin (March 27, 2015). "Why One New York Artist Is Putting Her Placenta On Display". Refinery29. Retrieved July 16, 2015. 
  6. ^ Tomlinson, Lauryn (June 22, 2015). "Aint No Fun". Viper. 
  7. ^ Sargent and Molle, Felicity and Mark (February 24, 2015). "Zoë Buckman's First Solo Show Keeps it Really Real". Blackbook. 
  8. ^ Munro, Cait (February 20, 2015). "Why is Zoe Buckman Using Her Placenta to Create Art?". Artnet News. 
  9. ^ Cohen, Brianna. "What to See Now: Zoe Buckman 'Present Life'". ArtMarkit,com. Retrieved July 16, 2015. 
  10. ^ Haveles, Kate (July 28, 2014). "Biggie in a Bra". Artlog. 
  11. ^ Amin, Nalisa Alia (October 21, 2014). "Why is artistZoe Buckman embroidering hip hop lyrics onto vintage lingerie?". ELLE Malaysia. 
  12. ^ Fritz, Katherine (October 17, 2014). "This Artist Embroidered Tupac And Biggie's Rhymes On Lingerie To Make You Rethink Hip-Hop Lyrics". MTV. 
  13. ^ "Artist Zoe Buckman: The definition of Feminine". A Taste for Art. September 7, 2014. Retrieved July 16, 2015. 
  14. ^ Treffinger, Stephen (March 2016). "The Sparring Feminist". 
  15. ^ Frank, Priscilla (April 27, 2016). "Feminist Artist Embroidered Rap Lyrics Onto Lingerie To Start A Conversation". 
  16. ^ Solway, Diane (March 16, 2016). "Under Armor: Zoë Buckman's Lingerie Feminism". 
  17. ^ Miranda, Carolina (March 17, 2016). "Datebook: The art of Robert Mapplethorpe, photographs in Play-Doh, and zipper paintings". 
  18. ^ "Work: Mostly It's Just Uncomfortable". Zoe Buckman. Retrieved July 28, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Inside the Super PAC Using Art to Affect the Election". Vice. July 21, 2016. 
  20. ^ "The Art World's Most Daring — and Fun — Season". The New York Times. July 28, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Artists". Truth to Power. Retrieved July 28, 2016. 
  22. ^ "Rock The Vote Presents: Truth to Power". The Philly Calendar. Retrieved July 28, 2016. 
  23. ^ "Game On!". June 8, 2016. 
  24. ^ Boyce, Simone (June 29, 2016). "Super PAC uses art to foster political debate". 
  25. ^ Sargent, Antwaun (July 21, 2016). "The First-Ever Artist-Run Super PAC Wants Your Vote". 
  26. ^ a b c d Weiss, Haley (December 15, 2016). "The Consciousness Raising Artist". Interview Magazine. 
  27. ^ a b Cascone, Sarah (March 30, 2017). "Gallery Hopping: Last Chance to See Zoe Buckman's Hardhitting Feminism at Project for Empty Space". Artnet News. 
  28. ^ a b c Rodney, Seph (March 29, 2017). "Feminist Sculptures that Don't Pull Punches". Hyperallergic. 
  29. ^ a b Freeling, Isa (March 31, 2017). "A Neon Chastity Belt Glows in Newark!". 
  30. ^ "Sienna Miller and More Toast Zoë Buckman's New Solo Exhibition". February 24, 2017. 
  31. ^ a b Sargent, Antwaun (July 21, 2016). "The First-Ever Artist-Run Super PAC Wants Your Vote". 
  32. ^ "For Freedoms". 
  33. ^ "off the wall x For Freedoms". 
  34. ^ "Grab 'Em By the Ballots". 
  35. ^ Solway, Diane (October 27, 2016). "The Art of Politics". 
  36. ^ Willis Thomas & Buckman, Hank & Zoe (October 31, 2016). "Vote Jemima! Artists Hank Willis Thomas and Zoë Buckman On Their Choice". 
  37. ^ Frank, Priscilla (December 1, 2016). "Two Feminists Are Turning The Degrading Things Politicians Say About Women Into Art". 
  38. ^ Donoghue, Katy (December 7, 2016). " Zoë Buckman and Natalie Frank Won't Let you Forget What Politicians Say About Women". 
  39. ^ a b Webber, Stephanie (April 5, 2017). "David Schwimmer, Wife Zoe Buckman Taking 'Some Time Apart' After Six Years of Marriage". Us Weekly. Retrieved April 5, 2017. 
  40. ^ "David Schwimmer Is Engaged!". People. March 14, 2010. 
  41. ^ Silverman, Stephen (October 12, 2010). "David Schwimmer Secretly Married Girlfriend Zoe Buckman". People. 
  42. ^ Lipman, Jennifer (October 12, 2010). "David Schwimmer marries in secret". TheJC.com. 
  43. ^ Hughes, Sarah Anne (May 23, 2011). "David Schwimmer and wife welcome baby girl". The Washington Post. 
  44. ^ "At home with... Zoë Buckman & Cleo". The Glow. Retrieved July 16, 2015. 

External links[edit]