Zoë Buckman

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Zoë Buckman
Born (1985-09-13) 13 September 1985 (age 38)
Occupation(s)Visual artist, writer
(m. 2010; div. 2017)

Zoë Buckman (born 13 September 1985)[1] is an English artist, photographer and writer.

Early life[edit]

Buckman was born in Hackney, East London, England,[1] to Jewish parents Jennie Buckman, an acting teacher and playwright, and Nick Blatchley, a government health official. Her uncle is Peter Buckman, an English writer and literary agent.[2]


Heavy Rag[edit]

Heavy Rag examines the dichotomy of boxing, a sport in which gloves are used to harm, as well as for protection. [3] The body of work was Buckman's first exhibition to open since her mother's death, and was greatly inspired by Louise Bourgeois’ textile works. [4] Although the themes in this exhibition are not very celebratory, the colorful and warm fabrics that Buckman uses throughout her punching bags, glove clusters and flatworks, remind her of her mother and grandmother.[5]

Present Life[edit]

Present Life examines the temporary nature and beauty of life from the focal-point of the exhibit, Buckman's plastinated placenta.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8]

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 embroidered rap lyrics onto vintage garments to explore the conflict between feminism and hip-hop.[9][10]

Katherine Fritz of MTV says that the art series explores the dialogue between the misogynistic lyrics within rap and the pro-abortion rights, feminist content found within the text.[11] 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.[12]

Mostly It's Just Uncomfortable[edit]

Mostly It’s Just Uncomfortable is Buckman's response to the political controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood in the United States.[13] 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[14][15] and Rock The Vote's Truth to Power exhibition at the 2016 Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia.[16][17]

Let Her Rave[edit]

Let Her Rave is a response to a line in Keats’ poem Ode on Melancholy.[18] The work in this series is about the society’s control of women and their bodies through patriarchal constructs.[19] Though she has been a long time Keats’ admirer,[20] the artist was unable to resolve the line ‘Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows / Imprison her soft hand, and let her rave.’[18]

Sculptures of boxing gloves trimmed with vintage wedding dresses that hang from the ceiling as well as a powerful neon adorned with wedding veils[19] explore the complex aggressions that women face each day[21] and the idea that they must fight in response.[20] Further in terms of matrimony they suggest the weight, strength, and delicacy of marriage and its impact on womanhood.[18]

Collaborations and public projects[edit]

Buckman is a member of For Freedoms,[22] the first artist-run Super PAC founded by artists Eric Gottesman and Hank Willis Thomas.[22] She has participated in several projects with the organization including an exhibition at Jack Shainman, New York City;[23] a bus bench with Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago;[24] a billboard -‘’Grab ‘Em By the Ballots’’ – in Harrisburg, PA;[25] and a political campaign advertisement for W Magazine featuring Jemima Kirke.[26][27]

Buckman and Natalie Frank collaborated on Buckman's first public project, a mural at New York Live Arts during spring 2017 titled We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident.[28] 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.[29]

Personal life[edit]

In 2010 Buckman married David Schwimmer.[30][31][32] They had a daughter in 2011,[33][34] and in 2017 they separated, then divorced.[30][35]


  1. ^ a b "About". Zoe Buckman official website. Archived from the original on 18 August 2016. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  2. ^ Bloom, Nate (21 October 2010). "Schwimmer's secret wedding, Another new Jewish couple, ..." J. The Jewish News of Northern California. Archived from the original on 14 February 2017.
  3. ^ Lakin, Max (29 September 2019). "Zoë Buckman Pays Homage to Louise Bourgeois". Garage.
  4. ^ Buckman, Zoe (n.d.). "Heavy Rag". Zoe Buckman.
  5. ^ Cascone, Sarah (20 September 2019). "'They Are Used for Great Harm, as Well as for Protection': Artist Zoë Buckman on the Symbolism of Boxing Gloves and Her Latest New York Show". Artsy.
  6. ^ Wholey, M.A. (18 July 2015). "Zoë Buckman's Plastinated Placenta Probes the Beauty of Birth". Artsy.
  7. ^ Zhong, Fan (27 February 2015). "Zoe Buckman's Life Force". W.
  8. ^ Cunningham, Erin (27 March 2015). "Why One New York Artist Is Putting Her Placenta On Display". Refinery29. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  9. ^ Haveles, Kate (28 July 2014). "Biggie in a Bra". Artlog.
  10. ^ Amin, Nalisa Alia (21 October 2014). "Why is artistZoe Buckman embroidering hip hop lyrics onto vintage lingerie?". ELLE Malaysia.
  11. ^ Fritz, Katherine (17 October 2014). "This Artist Embroidered Tupac And Biggie's Rhymes On Lingerie To Make You Rethink Hip-Hop Lyrics". MTV.
  12. ^ "Artist Zoe Buckman: The definition of Feminine". A Taste for Art. 7 September 2014. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  13. ^ "Work: Mostly It's Just Uncomfortable". Zoe Buckman. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  14. ^ "Inside the Super PAC Using Art to Affect the Election". Vice. 21 July 2016.
  15. ^ "The Art World's Most Daring — and Fun — Season". The New York Times. 28 July 2016.
  16. ^ "Artists". Truth to Power. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  17. ^ "Rock The Vote Presents: Truth to Power". The Philly Calendar. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  18. ^ a b c Weiss, Haley (15 December 2016). "The Consciousness Raising Artist". Interview Magazine.
  19. ^ a b Cascone, Sarah (30 March 2017). "Gallery Hopping: Last Chance to See Zoe Buckman's Hardhitting Feminism at Project for Empty Space". Artnet News.
  20. ^ a b Rodney, Seph (29 March 2017). "Feminist Sculptures that Don't Pull Punches". Hyperallergic.
  21. ^ Freeling, Isa (31 March 2017). "A Neon Chastity Belt Glows in Newark!". HuffPost.
  22. ^ a b Sargent, Antwaun (21 July 2016). "The First-Ever Artist-Run Super PAC Wants Your Vote".
  23. ^ "For Freedoms".
  24. ^ "off the wall x For Freedoms".
  25. ^ "Grab 'Em By the Ballots".
  26. ^ Solway, Diane (27 October 2016). "The Art of Politics".
  27. ^ Willis Thomas & Buckman, Hank & Zoe (31 October 2016). "Vote Jemima! Artists Hank Willis Thomas and Zoë Buckman On Their Choice".
  28. ^ Frank, Priscilla (1 December 2016). "Two Feminists Are Turning The Degrading Things Politicians Say About Women Into Art". HuffPost.
  29. ^ Donoghue, Katy (7 December 2016). "Zoë Buckman and Natalie Frank Won't Let you Forget What Politicians Say About Women".
  30. ^ a b Webber, Stephanie (5 April 2017). "David Schwimmer, Wife Zoe Buckman Taking 'Some Time Apart' After Six Years of Marriage". Us Weekly. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  31. ^ Silverman, Stephen (12 October 2010). "David Schwimmer Secretly Married Girlfriend Zoe Buckman". People.
  32. ^ Lipman, Jennifer (12 October 2010). "David Schwimmer marries in secret". TheJC.com.
  33. ^ Hughes, Sarah Anne (23 May 2011). "David Schwimmer and wife welcome baby girl". The Washington Post.
  34. ^ "At home with... Zoë Buckman & Cleo". The Glow. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  35. ^ Mulkerrins, Jane (20 February 2020). "David Schwimmer on Friends, his new sitcom, and his fears for Billie Eilish". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 24 April 2020.