Elisabeth Ciaccio was born in 1991, in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Her and her family moved around throughout the South most of her young childhood, until 2002 when they moved to Asheville, NC and made it their home. It was not until 2009 that Elisabeth decided to pursue photography as her main artistic outlet, during which she took a course on Photography Appreciation at AB-Tech Community College her senior year. Artists like, Diane Arbus and Robert Frank were among her favorite photographers, and this is when she began taking black-and-white 35mm film photographs. Upon researching Diane Arbus, Elisabeth presented her Senior Thesis on Arbus’ life and work, and how she changed the world of photography through her photographs.
In 2011, after taking photography and other art courses at AB-Tech Elisabeth transferred to UNC-A to study Photography and Art History, graduating in December 2014. Throughout this time she cultivated her passion, but outgrew traditional 35mm film in 2012 and began shooting medium format, or 120mm film. The main reason for this switch was due to her discovery of photographer Francesca Woodman.
Francesca Woodman’s artwork has been a major influence in shaping the artist’s outlook on photography, from utilizing the square framing of medium format and the space within that frame, to photographing herself. Elisabeth had been shooting nude subjects since 2010, but it was not until she discovered Woodman that her subject often became herself. This switch was due to not having other people to photograph, or rather, not having to rely on other people. She is always available to herself.
Elisabeth currently lives in Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY. She shoots medium format film with a Yashica D; 35mm camera is a Nikon FA; and uses a Nikon D750 for digital photography.
Elisabeth Ciaccio’s main subjects are nude, including herself. She attempts to challenge the standards set upon men and women by society; and to control the male gaze, showing the viewer what she wants them to see. The seemingly inherent sexualization of the human body, especially when nude, is patriarchal, and the artist challenges that notion; she employs eroticism to force her audience to question themselves and their own views on nudity and the human body, including her own.
Since the artist moved frequently as a child, she never felt grounded to any one place, viewing herself as an outsider, continually questioning her identity and the role it plays in her life. This questioning is evident in the usage of masks, plastics, and even body hair, which obscures or completely hides her face. When photographing subjects other than her, the artist has noticed they open up more to the camera, and therefore, the viewer. Inhibitions are let down when their identity is concealed.
2011-2014 Bachelor of Arts in Photography, UNC-Asheville
2009-2010 Art, Asheville-Buncombe Technical College
Elisabeth Ciaccio, “The Mask,” PLATEFORM Magazine, access date: December 11, 2017 plateformag.com/magazine/article/numero-106
2016 “The Classics Re-Visited,” Toki Tattoo Shop & Gallery, Canton, NC
2014 “Implicit | Explicit: The Line Between Art and Porn,” Pink Dog Studios, Asheville, NC
2018 “Bushwick Open Studios,” Space 776, Brooklyn, NY
2018 “Fun House,” Barrett Art Center, Poughkeepsie NY, Jurors: Danijela Purssey and Istvan Banyai
2018 “LORE: Exploring Fear,” Specto Art Space, Bridgewater, VA Juror: Jeremiah Morris
2018 “Mnemonic,” H. Gallery, Ventura, CA Juror: Michael Miner
2018 “Krappy Kamera,” SoHo Photo Gallery, Manhattan, NY Juror: Sandra Carrion
2018 “Grand Salon Show,” The Greenpoint Gallery, Brooklyn, NY Juror: Shawn James
2017 “Holiday Salon Show,” The Greenpoint Gallery, Brooklyn, NY Juror: Shawn James
2017 “Winter Grand Salon Show,” The Greenpoint Gallery, Brooklyn, NY Juror: Shawn James. artist
2017 “People’s Choice Double Decker Salon Show,” The Greenpoint Gallery, Brooklyn, NY Juror: Shawn James, artist
2017 “Color: Photography Now,” Black Box Gallery, Portland, OR Juror: Todd Johnson, artist
2017 “Somerville Toy Camera Festival,” Nave Gallery, Somerville, MA
2017 “Photo Shoot: 2017,” Black Box Gallery, Portland, OR Juror: Todd Johnson, artist
2017 “Portraiture: Looking at Photography,” Black Box Gallery, Portland, OR Juror: Annick Sjobakken, artist
2017 “Brooklyn Open Studios,” Space 776, Brooklyn, NY
2015 “PBR Art Show Case,” Mothlight Gallery, Asheville, NC
2014 “47th Annual Juried Student Exhibition,” UNCA, Asheville, NC Juror: Ron Fondaw, artist.
2013 “46th Annual Juried Student Exhibition”, UNCA, Asheville, NC Juror: John Oles, artist
2010 “6th Annual Student Art Show”, AB-Tech Community College, Asheville, NC