Jamie Diamond


Jamie Diamond


Jamie Diamond


New York

Artist Statement

Jamie Diamond (b. 1983) is a performance artist, photographer and filmmaker living in Brooklyn, NY. Her work mostly focuses on the human figure, deconstructing images throughout an array of concepts such as motherhood, authenticity and memory. She uses personal narratives as a departure point to compose photographs that challenge the boundaries between reality and fiction.

365 Days: 1938/2017

In 2015, while visiting Berlin, I stumbled upon a discarded vernacular German family photo album. As I turned each page, I saw the life of a child unfold, 27 days old, 47 days old, 80 days old, ending at 365 days. I then looked at the date and it occurred to me that this was at the dawn of the Second World War. This body of work is a collaboration between me and my son and two strangers, a mother and a child and explores the interplay between shared global history and maternal identity. I have carefully re-enacted each picture with my son since his birth, set within the same time frame outlined in the album, from 27 days old to a year. My recreations are over-layed with the original source material from 1938, collapsing space, time and memory into one photograph. The pixels merge with the grain, in the way I merge with this stranger, our developmental milestones and fears become one. By collapsing the historical photograph with my staged re-enactment I create a new narrative in which our shared identity at a time of uncertainty become united.

Mother Love:

In this project I collaborated with an outsider art making community called the Reborners, a group of self-taught female artists who hand-make, collect and interact with hyper-realistic dolls. Working with the community allowed me to explore the grey area between reality and artifice where relationships are constructed with inanimate objects, between human and doll, artist and artwork, uncanny and real.
After spending a year investigating and recording their practice, I chose to become a Reborner to gain a better understanding of the community. Nine Months of Reborning documents my introduction to the community and the making of my first nine dolls, as well as the working nursery I established in my studio and on eBay, called the Bitten Apple Nursery. Before putting the finished dolls up for adoption on eBay, I took a portrait of each one. The final photograph is the remnant of this exchange. For the subsequent Amy Project, I invited celebrated Artists from the community to individually interpret and idealize the same doll. I then photograph each doll mimicking vernacular school portraits. Each of the dolls are unique to their maker’s hand, but share an uncanny similarity through their common origin. For the final act in the Reborn collaboration, I have identified and appropriated different canonical images of the Christ Child, and invited Reborn artists to create individual portrait babies. Depictions vary drastically from artist to artist, all ultimately presenting their personal, ideal representation of a singular figure. The photographs engage with the tradition of portraiture, evoking classical sculptural busts that are at once familiar and strange.

I Promise to Be a Good Mother:

In this series, I assume the role of subject and photographer and put on the mask of motherhood, dressing up in my mother’s clothes and interacting with Annabelle, a reborn doll. The project was inspired by and named after a diary I kept as a girl that documented the relationship with my own mother, written as a kind of rule sheet for later life. I started staging specific memories from my childhood, acting out recalled events and behaviors. Eventually the performance evolved into an exploration of the complexities surrounding the paradox of the mother/child relationship, investigating both its vernacular and art historical depictions, while mimicking and ignoring the traditional visual signifiers of motherhood. I’m interested in the fantasy of motherhood, the social structure of the relationship between mother and child, and the performance of inherited social and gender roles. Working in a variety of locations, both interiors and landscapes, I play out these scenarios with Annabelle for the camera, isolating specific idyllic and contradictory moments.


Surrogate: A Love Ideal, Milan Osservatorio, Fondazione Prada, Italy
Curated by Melissa Harris, 2019

Nine Months of Reborning, Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago, IL, 2019
I Promise to be a Good Mother, AJL Art, Berlin, Germany, 2012
365 Days: 1938/2017, Kewenig, Berlin, Germany, 2021
A New Society, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, Canada
Family Affairs, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany, 2021
Walk in My Shoes, Mass MoCA, North Adams, MA, United States, 2015
Please Touch: Body Boundaries, Mana Contemporary, Jersey City, NJ, United States



jamiediamond24, “Jamie Diamond ,” Artist Parent Index , accessed July 13, 2024, https://artistparentindex.com/items/show/625.

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