Emma Shapiro grew up in Alexandria, Virginia, the middle of three sisters and the daughter of a capital defense attorney and a writer. She graduated from The Rhode Island School of Design in 2010, after which she created a successful and personally inspiring career as an artist's model. This career has lead to a drawing philosophy which she is asked to teach at a variety of schools and universities, and the birth of her own body of work.
Using her own body as her primary tool, Ms. Shapiro discusses memory, history, and ancestry with and within the human form. Through her work, she is connecting her form to the forms of her ancestors-- lost to pogroms, the Holocaust, and the Irish Famine, with histories lost and no graves to visit. Ms. Shapiro relies on her belief that they live on within her own genetics, and therefore can be explored, questioned, and reburied using her own body. Her work utilizes a fluidity of media, including video, performance, photography, and paper.