As a woman and as an artist I am preoccupied with emotional ramifications of displacement and diaspora and attempt to reveal their intricacies through my work. This pursuit makes me a kind of nomad, an individual perpetually traveling to a place of revelation, a place to call home. I find contemplative beauty in the melancholy of longing and wish to soften and transcend reality through my lens in search of that beauty.

I am interested in the relationship between photography and other disciplines. Using elements of nature as my subject, I push the limits of the photographic medium to suggest drawings and painterly abstractions. While the natural depictions remain vivid; the images blur and fade along the edges, almost as if the centrifugal forces of my own displacement punctuate every interpretation of my surroundings.

In my practice I employ tilt-shift lenses because they allow room for spontaneity The resulting accidents and deviations lead to new discoveries. I enjoy the extemporaneous quality of this process and view my practice as an extension of seeing and an exercise of instinct and connectivity. I am inspired by forms and philosophies of minimalism and thus attempt to generate a visual experience that provides mental space for contemplation.


About Elena

Raised in communist Ukraine, Lyakir developed a passion for photography as a young child. Soviet cinematography and historical family photographs inspired her to pick up a camera when she was only seven. In 1990 she immigrated to the U.S. with her family, seeking political asylum, and shortly thereafter migrated to New York City. Fascinated by the ‘90s experimental art scene, she went to study art history and briefly took courses in photography and film studies at the Museum School of Fine Arts. Lyakir’s experiences of discrimination and oppressive authority in communist Ukraine eventually motivated her to continue pursuing her art on her own through independent research, collaborations and experimentation in the dark room. 

Lyakir’s work is included in many private and corporate collections. She has exhibited in galleries and art fairs in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, London, Berlin and Istanbul. She has won awards for her image titled Black Bird Fly and is actively involved with Berlin Collective artist collaborative. Lyakir currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Selected Group Shows

2016 Image Still, Mixer Arts, Istanbul, Turkey
2015 ON-SITE 16 Cities, Berlin Collective Group Show, curated by Nicole Cohen, Harlem, NY
2015 There Is No Room For Us Here, curated by Lola Shepard, The Open Center Gallery, New York, NY
2015 Reinventing the Helm, Sarah Nightingale Gallery, Water Mill, NY
2014 Salon De Lafayette, curated by Mike Dreeland, New York, NY
2013 To Deny Our Nothingness, curated by Carolina Puente, Gallery Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY
2013 Seasons, Gallery 69, New York, NY
2013 International Group Exhibition, Chris Beetles Fine Photographs, London, UK
2012 Shelf Life, curated by Nicole Cohen, Kunsthalleam Hamburger Platz, Berlin, Germany.
2012 Living Arrangements, curated by Debra Klomp Ching, Spring Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2012 Love and Passion, Karyn Mannix Contemporary, East Hampton, NY
2011 Biannual Group Exhibition, Cristina Dos Santos, New York, NY



2015 Feature Shoot, Into The Wild: Nature Photography Competition Winner
2013 The Photo Democracy Awards for Fine Art Photography, London, UK
2013 New York Center For Photographic Arts, Emerging Talent Award

Solo Exhibitions

2015 Aesthetic Emotion, Deborah Berke, New York, NY
2013 Punctuated History, Gloria Naftali’s Highline Loft, New York, NY
2013 Visual Poetry, Ochre, New York, NY


Art Fairs

2015 X Contemporary, Art Basel, Miami
2015 Photo Independent Art Fair, Los Angeles, CA
2014 Wanted Design, New York, NY
2013 Architectural Digest, New York, NY
2010 The Affordable Art Fair, London, UK



2016 Lensbaby Blog Photographer Feature, Feature Shoot
2015 Artist Portfolio Magazine, Silvershotz, Hamptons H&G, Art Nerd LA
2014 Feature Shoot, Blum Collection, Kireei, The City Girl is Changing
2013 Actuphoto, Art Daily, ArteFuse, Artsy, Brooklyn Magazine, Bensozia, Inhabitat, Fashion Daily Magazine
2012 Photographie au Feminin, InStyle Magazine, The Roger, The New York Optimist
2011 ABC Reveal, Corridor 40, Petits Papiers
010 Elle Décor, Time Out Magazine