About the Photographer
Canadian, b. 1958; resides in the United States
Moyra Davey photographs things she encounters in her daily life—objects in her studio, books, café tables, etc., as well as objects whose primary use-value has expired, such as analogue electronics, buttons, and empty bottles. Interested in analyzing the items we accumulate and value, as well as things that exist at the margins of consumer culture, Davey fuses her personal life with her work in a photographic practice that is based largely on chance and accident. In the series Copperheads (1990) she photographs pennies she found on the streets of New York. Closely cropped in on the profile of Lincoln, each Copperhead is worn down by human use and years of circulation. Like analogue photographic technology, the pennies become devalued over time and are approaching the end of their usefulness as objects of exchange.
Moyra Davey is a photographer, writer, and filmmaker. In 2008, she was the subject of an expansive survey at the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, Long Life Cool White. Coinciding with this exhibition, Yale University Press published a monograph of her photographs and her writings on photography. Davey exhibited from 1994-2003 with Colin de Land’s gallery American Fine Arts, Co., and, from 2005-2008, she was a partner in the collaborative, artist-run gallery Orchard. Her works are in the collections of numerous institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Tate Modern, London; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Books by Davey include Copperheads (Bywater Bros. Editions, 2010), Long Life Cool White (Yale University Press, 2008), and The Problem of Reading (Documents Books, 2003). She lives in New York.