A Deeper Look into Collier Schorr: 10 Things You Didn’t Know

In today’s world, there are few artists who manage to make an impact quite like Collier Schorr. Known for her striking blend of portraiture and landscape work, Schorr’s photography tackles themes of identity, particularly surrounding gender and nationality. But how well do we really know the artist behind the lens? Get ready to explore 10 things you didn’t know about Collier Schorr.

1. Her Early Life

Collier Schorr, she was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1963, and that’s where her artistic journey began. Her upbringing in Brooklyn had significant impact on her world view and shaped a unique perspective that she would later imbue into her work.

Schorr attended the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan where she furthered honed her interest in photography. Her education helped her understand and cultivate her own artistic voice.

2. The Influence of Germany

Most are unaware of the profound influence German culture has on Schorr. After finishing her education, she spent a lot of time in Germany where she developed a deep fascination with its culture, history and landscapes.

By embedding herself in German communities, she started exploring the country’s post-war identity through her lens. Germany has since remained a consistent, compelling theme throughout her body of work.

3. Experimentation with Identity

Schorr’s work often plays with themes of gender and identity. She routinely disrupts conventional notions of masculinity and femininity, pushing boundaries to reflect on the fluidity of identity.

Her art often features individuals in androgynous outfits or poses, questioning conventional depictions of gender. This exploration of gender roles and identity sets her apart in the art world.

4. Working with Models Over Time

Unlike many photographers, Schorr has a habit of working with her models over extensive periods of time, sometimes spanning years. This method allows her subjects to age and evolve, adding layers and depth to her work.

This process has led to some of her most intimate and stunning portraits, enabling her to capture the essence of her subjects and the passage of time with remarkable clarity.

5. Her Involvement in Fashion

A lesser known aspect of Schorr’s work is her involvement in the fashion world. She has photographed editorials for high-end fashion magazines and has contributed to advertising campaigns for renown fashion brands.

Even in her fashion photographs, Schorr continues to explore her usual themes of identity, gender and nationality, providing an unusual depth often absent in conventional fashion photography.

6. A Passionate Advocate for LGBTQ+ Rights

Beyond her art, Schorr is an active advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. Her work often includes LGBTQ+ themes, providing visibility and representation of the community through her photographs.

She emphasizes the importance of diversity and inclusivity in the art world, using her platform to give voice to those who are often overlooked or marginalized.

7. A Recognized Artist

Schorr has been widely recognized for her contributions to contemporary photography. Her work has been exhibited all over the world, with solo exhibitions at prestigious institutions like New York’s Guggenheim Museum and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.

To add to her accomplishments, she has received numerous awards like the National Endowment for the Arts Visual Arts Fellowship and Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award.

8. A Published Writer

Beyond photography, Schorr is also a published writer. She often creates comprehensive books that combine her photography with her writing abilities.

Her books provide yet another platform for her explorations of identity, making her voice even more robust and accomplishment even more diverse.

9. Her Complex Relationship with Wrestling

Many are surprised to learn of Schorr’s fascination with wrestling. This impressive exploration has generated some of her most interesting work, as she investigates the sport’s inherent themes of power, masculinity, and physicality.

She often photographs wrestlers in and out of the arena, capturing their vulnerability in contrast to their athletic prowess.

10. The Hedwig Portfolio

One of Schorr’s most groundbreaking series of works is “The Hedwig Portfolio”. This collection of images sees Schorr’s photographing model Jenny Shimizu in the character of Hedwig from the popular musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”.

This project is a perfect example of Schorr’s approach to her work, blending aspects of fantasy and reality, identity and performance, and ultimately challenging the perception of the viewer.


Collier Schorr remains an influential figure in contemporary art, constantly pushing the boundaries of traditional photography to reflect on the complexities of identity. There’s more to her than the images suggest: she’s a storyteller, an advocate, and a trailblazer in her field.

For more information about her work and exhibitions, visit her official website and the Guggenheim Museum webpage.