Raised in communist Ukraine, Elena Lyakir developed a passion for photography as a young child. Soviet cinematography and historical family photographs inspired her to pick up a camera when she was only seven. In 1990 she immigrated to the U.S. with her family, seeking political asylum, and shortly thereafter migrated to New York City. Fascinated by the ‘90s experimental art scene, she went to study art history and took courses in photography and film studies at the Museum School of Fine Arts. Lyakir’s experiences of discrimination and oppressive authority in communist Ukraine eventually motivated her to continue pursuing her art on her own through research, collaborations and experimentation in the dark room.
Lyakir’s work is included in many private and corporate collections. She has exhibited in galleries and at art fairs in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, London, Berlin, Lille, Sydney, and Istanbul. She has won awards for her image titled Black Bird Fly and is actively involved with Berlin Collective artist collaborative. Lyakir currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.