Laurie Toby Edison


Latest News

  • It was a surprise to be chosen as one of the twelve Women’s Caucus of the Arts members to be featured for a month on the front page of the WCA website. The “Featured Artist” section of the website includes three rotating images. It was hard to choose three images to represent my work. The size of the images on the site is small so I had the added consideration of photos that look will beautiful in that size. I chose one from each of my suites of photographs.

    ‘I feel like “Miss February”.’

  • Two of my photographs are in a very exciting exhibition: Transforming Community: Disability, Diversity and Access at the Westbeth Gallery in NYC in conjunction with the Women's Caucus of the Arts National Conference. It's curated by Petra Kuppers and runs from February 7 – February 22, 2015.

  • I have work in an beautiful exhibition Body at the PH21 Gallery (Budapest University of Technology and Economics in Hungary). It’s from November 25th to December 15th. It’s a beautiful city that I visited many years ago and that makes this very special. And my photograph of Debbie Notkin and Tracy Blackstone from Women En Large was picked for the Juror’s Choice!

  • Four of my photographs are in a beautiful exhibition curated by Pam Peniston at the Commonwealth Club Gallery in downtown San Francisco. The show is called LGBT Art: Our Common Wealth, and is open on weekdays through September 18th. My photos are of writer Marlo Gayle (from Familiar Men), and Japanese feminist Hiroko Hagiwara (from Women of Japan), science fiction and fantasy master Samuel R Delany (also from Familiar Men), and Tee Corinne (the ground breaking lesbian photographer and historian).

  • I’m delighted that two of my photographs are in Body, body, bodies, a feature exhibition of the 2014 National Queer Arts Festival at the SOMArts Gallery, June 7th to 28th in San Francisco. The opening is June 7th from 2PM to 5PM. One of the photos is a nude portrait of my friend Tee Corinne, a groundbreaking Lesbian erotic artist. It was shot shortly before her death in 2006. The other, of Samuel R Delany, is from my book Familiar Men. He is a poet, literary critic, and grand master of science fiction. He brought queerness into the future.

  • I’m very excited to be moderating a panel "Time, Contingency and Memory: As Elements of Art" at Wiscon, the world’s premier feminist science fiction convention (May 15, Madison, Wisconsin). I’ll be discussing, among other things, my new Memory Landscape: A Visual Memoir project. Panelists are editor Debbie Notkin and writers Pat Murphy and Nisi Shawl.

  • I’m going to be in the feminist exhibition Half the Sky: Intersections in Social Practice Art at LuXun Academy of Fine Arts in Shenyang, China. The Academy and the Women’s Caucus of the Arts worked together to create an art-based cultural exchange and exhibition between artists and essayists juried through WCA. The exhibition was curated in the US by Alma Ruiz and in China by Yin Ou. I’ll be exhibiting my portraits of Okinawan activist Fumiko Nakamura from Women of Japan. The exhibition is from the 15 to the 30th of April of 2014.

  • On July 15th 2013 I gave a talk to a feminist photography class at Portland Community College taught by Kathi Rick. It was a pleasure to talk to students who were so very familiar with my work. And generally so well prepared to discuss feminism, body image, and photography.

  • On October 11th 2012 I was really surprised when my daughter Cid emailed me that I was one of the artists in the Huffington Post’s 30 GLBT Artists and Performers to Follow. It was posted for LGBT History Month on National Coming Out Day. This is the second time this year that my work has been featured in the Huffington Post; the first was last June in 30 LGBT Artists You Should Know. I felt honored and delighted then and I do again now.

  • I received two books that included my work this month (October 2012): A beautiful photography text book and also a stunningly beautiful catalogue.

    The text book is for their new photography class Gesture and Meaning at Open College of the Arts, Barnsley UK. The Feminist Photography chapter has my portrait of April Miller and information about my work. They’ll be teaching the course for the next five years to a total of 500 students. The quality of the photo reproduction is beautiful.

    I’ve been waiting for a while for this catalogue. It’s the new collection volume from The National Museum of Art Osaka 2012. It’s a thick beautiful book. Each artist has a page, mine includes my photo of Bob Guter and an insightful essay on my work by Mariko Takeuchi. The diverse contemporary work includes Picasso, Miyako Ishiuchi, and Andy Warhol.

  • I have three photographs in the The Women’s Caucus of the Arts 2012 international exhibition and catalogue. It’s titled the Woman + Body exhibition and opens at the Kepco Plaza Gallery Museum (October 13–19, 2012) in Seoul, South Korea. The show will then go to Gwangju Cultural Foundation’s MediaCube 338 in Gwangju, South Korea, (October 23– November 6, 2012). The curator in Korea is Hye-Seong Tak Lee. Sherri Cornett represents the exhibition in the US and has been very helpful. This is the first time my work has been exhibited in Korea and I’m delighted.

  • I had a high point on July 28th 2012 presenting the Carl Brandon Society’s Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship to Lisa Bolekaja at the Clarion Writers Workshop in San Diego. I was thrilled when the writer Nisi Shawl asked me to present the award. The evening event was wonderful. Lisa is very impressive and we got to spend some time together the next day. The award that is presented with the scholarship is a silver owl that I created for Octavia Butler. I blogged about it in Body Impolitic.

  • On June 26th the Huffington Post included one of my photos from Familiar Men in their 30 LGBT Artists You Should Know. I chose the photo of Bob Guter for their slide show.

    They wrote: As Pride Month comes to a close, we would like to showcase a number of LGBT artists who have influenced the progress of art and society throughout the past hundred years or so. While this list is in no way comprehensive, we hope to highlight some of the many creative individuals who as members of the LGBT community have put their unique stamp on art history.

    This was totally unexpected, and I was delighted and honored to be in group of artists that include Frida Kahlo and David Hockney.

  • The the first academic journal in the field of fat studies, Fat Studies: An International Journal of Body Weight and Society has been published (February 2012). It includes a extremely perceptive review by Stefanie Snider of Women En Large. She’s comparing it to Leonard Nimoy’s Full Body Project. The editor, Esther Rothblum, is a Professor of Women’s Studies at San Diego State University and a long time fat activist and scholar.

    We’ve had many, many positive reviews of Women En Large over the years but Stefanie’s understanding of the project and our process was exceptional. Debbie and I very much appreciated it. Quotes are on Body Impolitic.

  • This is great news. The Allure of the Collection, the celebratory 35th Anniversary exhibition of the National Museum of Art in Osaka, includes six of my photos (two from Women En Large and four from Familiar Men). I very much appreciated the care they took to use the appropriate texts with the images.

    The exhibition is in two parts and presents some 350 works by approximately 150 artists from the museum’s collection of over 6,300 items. The first part will introduce a wide range of contemporary art from the 20th and 21st century by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, Giorgio Morandi, Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter, Yayoi Kusama, and Yoshitomo Nara.

    The second part, the photography exhibition that includes my work, is contemporary photographs chosen from works that the museum has acquired since the mid-’90s, consisting of a diverse selection of works from both Japan and abroad. (It runs from April 21 to June 24th.) The exhibition catalogue includes my photograph of Bob Guter. I received my invitation to the opening and I wish I could be there.

  • I’m delighted that The National Museum of Art (Osaka, Japan) had a show "Collection" that included three of my photographs from Familiar Men and Women En Large together with their accompanying texts. It was curated by Yuke Uematsu. The show introduced a group of works from their collection, centering on recent acquisitions. The photographs on exhibit were among my works that are part of their permanent collection. The curator was very helpful in working with me to have the appropriate texts. The show ran from January 7 to April 8 2012.

  • I heard from Tomoko Aya at Third Gallery Aya in Osaka that the National Museum of Art Osaka is making a new catalog of their permanent collection that will include a photograph from Familiar Men. The museum acquired them for the permanent collection after Laurie’s solo exhibition there, Meditations on the Body: Recent Works in 2002.

  • Junko Fukazawa is writing a short article about women and art in the journal We Learn. It’s published by The Foundation of Japan Association for Women’s Education [1.25 MB PDF]. The foundation is highly respected by the women’s groups and women’s centers in Japan. She is writing from a feminist perspective about a self-portrait of Alice Neel at 80, and an image from Women En Large. The article is published in the winter of 2011/2012.

    Junko Fukazawa writes, curates and gives workshops on feminism and art, and is one of the core of people that I work with on my Women of Japan Project. Her thoughts and support are very important to the work. There a long interview with me about my work and Familiar Men in the December issue (9) of Filament Magazine. Filament Magazine is a quarterly magazine, self described as 72 pages of intelligent thought and beautiful men. The thinking woman’s crumpet. Their very thoughtful questions certainly lived up to their description, and gave me the opportunity to rethink some of my ideas about my work.

  • In Korea, a beautifully produced fashion/political magazine Dazed and Confused/Korea (there is also a British and a Japanese version of the magazine) published the article “Ugly Beautiful,” in February 2011 about beauty outside the narrow limits of fashion and was illustrated by a large number of images including mine, Botero’s, and Irving Penn’s.

  • At WisCon 33 (May 22-25, 2009), the world feminist science fiction convention, Laurie will participate in the panel Metal, Beads, Fiber and High Geekiness. “Geekiness” implies a high level of focus and knowledge. Jewelry, sculpture, and other “material” arts can have an intense focus on conceptual and intellectual content sometimes including a deep knowledge of both materials, their histories and meanings. Artists discuss how this geekiness affects their art and bring works to illustrate their conversations. She’s looking forward to continuing the fascinating conversation that stated at the Potlatch panel in March.

  • On March 1, 2009, Laurie was at Potlatch (a gathering of the writers and readers of literary science fiction and fantasy at which participants exchange ideas). She moderated a panel Helixes, Corals, and Brains: Oh My!, a discussion about crafts based on math, science, and nature. Have you knit a möbius strip or virus lately? The panelists were Elise Matthesen, Kate Schaefer, and Laurie. She blogged about it in Body Impolitic.

  • Laurie moderated the panel Mirrors: Ours, The Media’s, Our Culture’s and Our Kids’ on Moms, children, and body issues. It was at BlogHer'08 (July 18–20, 2008) the national women’s bloggers conference in San Francisco. “Children of all races, sizes, ages, and body types deserve to feel good about themselves: how they look, and how their bodies feel. On this panel Mommybloggers and other Moms will discuss helping our kids to like themselves as they are.” Panelists included the women who blog at So Sioux Me, Mocha Momma, and Kimchi Mamas (Glennia).

  • All three of Laurie’s portrait suites were featured in an exhibition at the Gender Equality Forum hosted by the Minato Center in Tokyo from June 17 to June 29, 2008. The theme of the forum was health and body image.

  • On May 24, 2008, Laurie, Mari Kotani, Debbie Notkin, and Manami Tachibana appeared at WisCon 32 the World Feminist Science Fiction Convention, in a panel and slide show for the Women of Japan project. Photos from Women of Japan were in the Art Show. The photograph of Fukazawa Junko won the art show award for “Most Feminist.”

  • On April 16, 2008, Laurie spoke on Deborrah Cooper’s online radio show, Sucka-Free Dating. Listen to the whole show at the link.

  • In January 2008, Meditations on the Body, a documentary produced and directed by John Wells, was made available on the Web on the occasion of the solo exhibition at the National Museum of Art, Osaka, MediaWorks, Japan (January 2008). To see the short film go to videos on this site.

  • On October 5, 2007, a Japanese feminist magazine published an interview with Laurie about her life and work.

  • Laurie spoke about Women of Japan at the Kyoto International Manga Museum, which is a combination of a museum and an extraordinary manga library. Other participants included Professor Rebecca Jennison from Kyoto Seika University and photography critic Mika Kobayashi, both of whom have portraits in Women of Japan. Laurie says, “Don’t miss this museum if you’re in Kyoto!”

  • Laurie completed her digital prints of Women of Japan for Nippon 2007. At the end of August, Laurie was in Japan for the exhibition of all 40 of the Women of Japan photographs (with bilingual texts) at the Pacifico Convention Center Convention in Yokohama, as an exhibit of Nippon 2007 (the World Science Fiction Convention) in August and September. This was the first exhibit of all of the photographs in Japan. The exhibition was a huge success, as was the panel where Laurie and several of the women in her photographs discussed the project and its importance.

  • On July 27th Laurie and three other bloggers spoke on the body image panel “Our Bodies, Our Blogs” at Blogher, the third annual national women’s bloggers conference in Chicago. The room was packed and the panel was passionately received. We look forward to more BlogHer discussions on body image.

  • 12 photographs from Women of Japan were exhibited at Wiscon, the feminist science fiction convention in Madison, Wisconsin (May 25-28). Laurie and Debbie and Mari Kotani were on a panel on Feminism and Japan. Laurie’s work was awarded the “Most Feminist” in the Art Show again — one of her her nudes won last year.

  • And closer to home the first solo exhibit of Tee Corinne’s Scars, Stoma, Ostomy Bag, Portacath: Picturing Cancer In Our Lives sponsored by the Queer Cultural Center was at the SomARTS Cultural Center, 934 Brannan St. in San Francisco. The opening date of the exhibition, and the reception, was Sunday, June 3rd. The show ended on Thursday 6/28. It was curated by Aspen May.

  • Laurie was the aesthetic curator of the “Scars” project, and her nude of Tee taken the summer before she died is Tee’s chosen artist’s portrait for the exhibition. Laurie was at the reception.

  • Women of Japan is finished! Laurie has printed all the photographs and all of the text we have is translated and on the web in English and Japanese. The newest photographs will be going up on the web gallery as soon as all of the models have had the chance to see their pictures.

  • Laurie had 14 photographs in “Silver/Silicon: 5 Photographic Perspectives” at the gallery Back to the Picture (934 Valencia Street @ 20th, 415.826.2321) in San Francisco. The opening was from 7 to 9pm on March 24th. The exhibition ran from March 24 to April 12.

    Laurie and Elena Anaya, Sonia Gresham, Lynnly Labovitz, and Trish Tunney were showing a collection of film and digital images ranging from black and white nudes to color landscapes.

    The exhibition included photographs from all three of her projects: Women En Large: Images of Fat Nudes; Familiar Men: A Book of Nudes; and Women of Japan It included the first group of photos from Women of Japan to be shown in the US (they had, of course, been shown several times in Japan).

    She’s been experimenting with large digital nudes 3 feet to 4 1/2 feet in size and she exhibited one of these for the first time.

  • Laurie was on a panel discussing photography books and work at Foto-Grafix Books (655 Mission Street, San Francisco 94105; 415-495-7242; 7-9 pm, December 13, 2006). Other participants included: Carol Queen, of The Center for Sex & Culture; and Jean Sinclair, author of “Pink Box,” a photographic tour of the Japanese sex industry. Laurie showed slides of all three of her projects. The event was a benefit for The Center for Sex & Culture.

  • The glbtq encyclopedia website featured a slideshow of 21 photos from Women En Large, Familiar Men, and Women of Japan during December 2006. Wik Wikholm, the designer, did a beautiful layout of the work. They are the major online academic, gay, lesbian,bisexual, transgender, queer encyclopedia. The editor is Claude J. Summers, William E. Stirton Professor in the Humanities Emeritus, University of Michigan-Dearborn.

  • I’m delighted to announce that this website went bilingual in early October, when we put up essays by many of the Women of Japan models, and supporters of the project, in both English and Japanese. Their words are powerful and wonderful. Women of Japan is of necessity a bilingual project, and I’ve wanted the website to reflect that for a long time. Please let me know what you like about the bilingual site, and what (if anything) doesn’t work for you.

  • Photographs and an article on Women of Japan were featured in the November 2006 gender issue of the Kyoto Journal: Perspectives from Asia. The Kyoto Journal is a remarkable award-winning English-language magazine. It’s available in the US, Japan, Canada, Europe, Australia, Hong Kong, and Korea.

  • Laurie and Ctein’s collaboration nuclear reactor won the Judges Prize at the Worldcon in Los Angeles in August.

  • There was an exhibition at Gallery Fleur (Kyoto Seika University) from Fleur’s permanent collection which included a group of photos from Women en Large and Familiar Men. Gallery Fleur is where Familiar Men was first exhibited in a solo show in November of 2000.

  • In June, Professor Rebecca Jennison spoke about Women of Japan at the PSi #12: Performing Rights conference in London. PSi#12 is an international powerhouse of innovation for academics, artists and activists, holding annual conferences across the globe.

    It gathered artists, activists and academics for a festival of creative and critical dialogues investigating the relationships between human rights and performance. They are linking human rights and performance because of the significance of human rights in a time of war and globalisation, and because of the bold claims made for performance as a way of understanding the world.

    Her panel on June 16th was titled: Producing Public Spaces for Creative and Critical Dialogue: Performance as a Site for Postcolonial and Gender Critique in Japan. Other panelists were Yasuko Ikeuchi (Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto), Lee Chong-hwa (Seikei University Tokyo), and Alicia Kitamura Arata (Director, performance artist). The panel considered a number of performance and visual arts projects and their impact on human-rights advocacy in contemporary Japan.

  • Laurie and Debbie attended the 30th Wiscon in Madison, Wisconsin (May 26-29, 2006). Photographs from Women En Large and Familiar Men were in the Art Show. WisCon is the first and foremost feminist science fiction convention in the world. WisCon honors writers, editors and artists whose work explores these themes and whose voices have opened new dimensions and territory in these issues. One of Laurie’s prints got the award for ‘Most Feminist’ work.

  • The fall issue of Corpus is out. Corpus is an extraordinary Spanish/English art periodical published by the Institute for Gay Men’s Health. This issue features fourteen of Laurie’s portraits from Familiar Men, along with “Beautiful Men,” a new essay by Debbie. Corpus’ mission is to promote AIDS awareness to the community of gay men of color through cutting-edge visual art. The magazine interviews and features a wide variety of artists, showcased with beautiful design.

  • Hwangbo Kangja is a supporter of and has modeled for Women of Japan. She has written a new essay on Laurie and the Women of Japan project, which is appearing in Zenya, a Tokyo-based quarterly magazine which “opposes any form of colonialism, war, racism and sexism in Japanese society.” Their website is Japanese only. Photographs of Hwangbo can be seen here and here.

  • In August, Laurie and Debbie presented “Women En Large: Looking Back over Ten Years” at Big Summer Fun, the 2005 convention of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA). We were joined by Rebecca Jennison (model for Women of Japan and Carol Squires (model for Women En Large. We talked about the book’s remarkable journey, spanning three continents, over a hundred public presentations, an array of reprints, and hundreds of articles and features; about how the book’s journey illuminates the changes in fat politics and the struggle for size acceptance over the last decade; about Familiar Men and Women of Japan; and about how our work is vital and active now: fat people learning to see the beauty and power in their bodies is at least as important today as it was ten years ago.

  • During the month of August, Laurie had an “Altar Barbie” piece, an altar by Laurie featuring a marvelous fat Barbie created by Charlotte Davis. This was part of the Altered Barbie show cosponsored by ChatterBox and Red Ink Studios. The show was “pick of the week” for the San Francisco Chronicle, and had a very crowded opening and good attendance throughout the month.

    Jill Lee, curator of the Chatterbox Gallery, where she exhibited our work, brought the Women of Japan project to Shanghai last March. She is currently travelling in China as the Curator of the State of California for Asia. Her mission is to create a crosscultural exchange through a diversity of artistic expressions, bringing emerging and established artists across the ocean to exhibit their work, host workshops or seminars, and participate in artist and community interchanges in the USA and Asia. We expect to be involved in this work going further.

  • In June, 2005, Laurie’s diptych portraits of Marlene Hoeber, never previously exhibited, was shown at Fresh Meat in the Gallery at the ODC Theater Gallery, 3153 17th Street (at Shotwell), San Francisco, California (from June 12 through July 5). Marlene Hoeber is quoted in the Familiar Men essay. The art in Fresh Meat is focussed on transgender, intersex and genderqueer topics.