Zoe Strauss

Born 1970, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | Lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Zoe Strauss, Homestead Portrait Studio, part of the series Homesteading, a multifaceted collaborative project based in Homestead, PA, including an installation of photographic prints and video projections at Carnegie Museum of Art; Courtesy of the artist. Commissioned by Carnegie Museum of Art for the 2013 Carnegie International; Photo: Greenhouse Media


Previously known for her public art happenings and installations, Zoe Strauss took up photography in 2000 when she embarked on a 10-year project called “Under I-95.” She went all-in, devoting her life to the project, and came out the other side an elected member of the famed Magnum Photos cooperative. An epic, open-ended narrative in photographs “about the beauty and struggle of everyday life,” “Under I-95” hinged on an annual, one-day exhibition of Strauss’s street photography (in the form of color photocopies priced at five dollars each) on the concrete pillars under an elevated section of Interstate 95 in South Philadelphia. 

Strauss has received many awards for her photography, including a Seedling Award from the Leeway Foundation (2002), a Pew Fellowship (2005), and the George Gund Foundation Fellowship (2007). She and is a member of the prestigious Magnum Photos cooperative. Strauss was included in the 2006 Whitney Biennial and was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art (Philadelphia, 2006).


Feb. 13: Artist Talk

Borrow a work

A work by Zoe Strauss is available for checkout in the Art Lending Collection at Braddock Carnegie Library.


For the 2013 Carnegie International, Zoe Strauss has focused her lens on Homestead, Pennsylvania, once home to Andrew Carnegie’s flagship plant, Homestead Steel Works, and the site of the infamous 1892 labor strike.