Leah Schrager is an artist living between the internet, NYC, and the Sonoran Desert. She is the model, photographer, artist, and marketer in/of her images. Her visual works apply a painterly aesthetic to bodily forms and often draw their material from her conceptual online performance practice. These include @OnaArtist (Instagram 5M), Sarah White (The Naked Therapist), and An American Dream (as herself). With these performances, Schrager situates her work in a contemporary hotbed of female (in)appropriateness, arousal, celebrity, fandom, and commercialism. She seeks to explore female biography and labor in today’s global society. 

Schrager has been compared by journalists and critics to such seminal figures as Marina Abramovic, Marcel Duchamp, Laurel Nakadate, Diane Fossey, and Sigmund Freud. She and/or her work has been profiled in 1000′s of media outlets, including Art Forum, Monopol, The Huffington Post, Vice, Viceland, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, CBS News, ABC News, The NY Daily News, and Playboy. She has exhibited with Johannes Vogt Gallery, Castor Gallery, Roman Fine Art, and others; her work has been on view in notable museums such as Fotografiska, Museum of Sex, and the Museum of Visual Art in Leipzig; and her pieces and performances have been purchased by collectors world-wide.


To contact the studio please email: studio[at]leahschrager[dot]com

Find Leah on Instagram and Twitter. Sign up for her Newsletter here.


Lives and Works in Brooklyn, NY & the Sonoran Desert.


2016    MFA Fine Arts, Parsons, The New School, NY
2007    BA Dance & BS Biology, summa cum laude, University of Washington, Seattle


Solo Exhibitions
2022    OnaArtist (Top 50 Reels), Gruin Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2019    Manifestations, Roman Fine Art, East Hampton, NY
2016    Glitter Peach, Miami Beach Cinemateque Gallery, Miami, FL
2015    The Male Gayze, Stream Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2012    Am I not Art/Ist, Hotel Americano, New York, NY
2010    Pretty | Whatever, The Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, WA

Group Exhibitions
2022    Nude, Fotografiska, Stockholm, NYC, Berlin
2020    Cam Life, Museum of Sex, New York, NY
2020    Link in Bio, Museum of Visual Art, Leipzig, Germany
2019    A Doll’s House, Goethe-Institut, Baku, Azeraijan
2018    Virtual Normality – Net Artists 2.0, Museum of Visual Art, Leipzig, Germany
2017    Last Night, Castor Gallery, New York, NY
2017    Art On The Edge, Roman Fine Art, East Hampton, NY
2017    Screen Present Tense, HDLU, Meštrović Pavilion, Zagreb, Croatia
2017    Bad Sex Bad Sex, Novella Gallery, New York, NY
2016    Summer Fling, Johannes Vogt Gallery, East Hampton, NY
2016    Adult Material, Andreas Schmidt Gallery, Berlin, Germany
2016    The Celebrity Project, Year 1, Superchief Gallery, New York, NY
2016    Digital_Luv<3, Blogfabrik, Berlin, Germany
2016    Ex Nihilo, Nihil Fit / Out of Nothing, Nothing Comes, White Circle Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
2016    Process Portraiture, UT Gallery, Knoxville, TN
2016    In The Raw: The Female Gaze on the Nude, Untitled Space, NYC
2016.   Beaver, Center For Performance Research, Brooklyn, NY
2015    Off Pink, The Kitchen, New York, NY
2015    Life Glitch, New Hive, online
2015    Under the Seams Runs the Pain, Bruce High Quality Foundation, New York, NY
2015    Foursome, Gallery Sensei, NYC
2015    Second Selves, Distillery Gallery, Boston, MA
2015    Synthetic Zero, Bronx Art Space, Bronx, NY
2015    FE:Body, 25 East Gallery, New York, NY
2015   Actions & Intent: Documentations in Performance, NARS Foundation, Brooklyn, NY
2012    Google Part 1, Chashama Gallery, Queens, NY

Art Fairs
2019    An American Dream, Roman Fine Art (solo) at Scope Art Fair, New York, NY
2019    Garden of Eden, Untitled Space, Spring Break Art Show, New York, NY
2018    Female-Friendly, Roman Fine Art (solo) at Scope Art Fair, Miami, FL
2018    Art Helix, Scope Art Fair, Basel, Switzerland
2018    Art Helix, Scope Art Fair, New York, NY
2017    The Celebrity Project, Year 2, Spring Break Art Show (solo), NYC


2018    Dismantling the Gaze, International Center of Photography (ICP) Museum, NYC
2018    #NSFW: Feminist Artists on Sex & Digital Identity, South by Southwest (SXSW), Austin
2017    Self-Institutionalizing, Cue Art Foundation, NYC
2016    The F-Word alongside Black Sheep Feminism: The Art of Sexual Politics, Dallas Contemporary, TX
2016    The F-Word, Franklin Street Works, Stamford CT
2015    Artist as Curator, The Swiss Institute, NYC
2015    Body Anxiety Comments Section, Bruce High Quality Foundation, NYC
2013    Sex for Success, Jeff Probst Show, (TV)
2012    Online Therapy… Naked?, South by Southwest (SXSW), Austin
2011    Wiener: Rehab or Resignation? with Andrew Breitbart, Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Tracy Byrnes, Fox Business News (TV)


Self-Made Supermodels: On Being an Instagram Model as a New Form of DIY, Digital, Feminized Performance, Rhizome, by Leah, 2016
Pay the Nipple by Ona, 2015
The Female Painter by Leah, 2015
The Ona Generation, 2014
Am I Not Art/Ist by Sarah White, 2012

PERFORMANCES (in others’ works) + DANCE

2015 Hello, Selfie!, Pulse Art Fair Miami Basel (with Kate Durbin)
2012 Revenge of the Fantastic Nobodies, White Box Gallery, New York, NY
2012 Eve Democracy, Lower Manhattan Cultural Center, New York, NY (with Andrea Stanislav)
2011 Live After Birth, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, NY (with the Fantastic Nobodies)
2009 Ghost Siege, Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY (with Andrea Stanislav)
2009 Lasagna, On The Boards, Seattle, WA (with Linas Phillips and Jim Fletcher)
2009 Get Me Out of Here, Yin Yue, DTW / New York Live Arts, Tisch School of the Arts, New York, NY
2007 Floor of the Forest, by Trisha Brown, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA (reconstruction)
2005-7 Chronicle, Martha Graham; Tensile Involvement, Alwin Nikolais; Liebe, Dore Hoyer; There is a Time, José Limón; Brahms Waltzes, Charles Weidman; Primitive Mysteries, Martha Graham; Chamber Dance Company, Meany Hall, Seattle, WA (reconstructions)



2019    Lakin, Max. “Leah Schrager is an Ethnographer of the Extremely Online.” Garage
2017    Lehrer, Adam. “On Sex Positive Selfies, Instagram Fame, and Naked Therapy.” Forbes
2017    Genova, Alexandra. “Exploring the Blurred Lines between Celebrity, Sex and Art.” Time
2015    Fateman, Johanna. “Women on the Verge: Art, Feminism, and Social Media.” Artforum. Print (view pdf)
2012    Sutton, Benjamin. Nude Art Controversy Raises the Question: Is it Art, Or is It Naked Therapy?” Artinfo

Print Covers
2019    Babylone, Yasmina Reza, Gallimard Publishing
2017    Icon, AF.ART, Issue No 5, August
2016    Extreme Body, Monopol. March

2019     New York New Wave: The Legacy of Feminist Art in Emerging Practice, Kathy Battista, I.B. Tauris
2019    Angstlust, Kunst + Unterricht, Heft 435/436
2017    Girl on Girl: Art and Photography in the Age of the Female Gaze, Charlotte Jansen, Lawrence King Publishing
2017    The Art Gorgeous, Centerfold, Issue #1 Spring 2017
2017    Summer of Sex Story Lead, Glamour, July
2017    Play with Me: Dolls, Women, art, Grace Banks, Laurence King Publishing
2015    Girl on Girl, Elephant: The Art Culture Magazine, Issue 25
2015    Women on the Verge: Art, Feminism, and Social Media, Fateman, Johanna, Artforum (view pdf)

Cascone, Sarah. “This Instagram Artist Isn’t Mad That the Internet Made a Meme Mocking Her Racy Selfie Shoot—She Just Wants to Be Tagged.” Artnet. 2019  
Meier, Anika. “Selfie Performance by Leah Schrager “No One Says: You See Art”.  Monopol. 2019  
Whitehot, McVey, Kurt, “Manifestations” 2019
Monopol, Anika Meier, “Instagram Performance” 2019
Scope Newsletter, (Sellout Booth) 2019
Glamour, Kate Friedman, “Meet Leah Schrager, Our Summer of Sex Artist-in-Residence,” 2017
Elephant, David Evans, “The Borrowers: Copyright and its Discontents,” Spring 2017, print
Cascone, Sarah. “The ‘Weinstein Effect’ Flooded Miami Beach with Feminist Art – But Will it Last?” Artinfo. 2017
RUSSH, Edwina Hagon, “Rise of the Fourth Wavers,” Feb/March 2017, print (pdf)
Hestetika, Marco De Crescenzo, “L’Esperienza Del Nudo,” April 2017, print
Dazed and Confused, Anna Freeman, “How to Create a Famous Instagram Alter-Ego,” 2016
Huffington Post, Priscilla Frank, “These Women Are Their Own Damn Muses,” 2016
Vice, Rachel Rabbit White, “Hot Girl Art,” 2016
The Creator’s Project, Alyssa Buffenstein “20 Female Artists’ Perspectives on the Nude” 2016
Huffington Post, Priscilla Frank, “Who’s Afraid of the Female Gaze?” 2016
Bustle Magazine, Kristen Sollee, “Sex Positive Feminist Artists To Know,” 2016
Art Slant, Christian Peterson, “Artist of the Week: Leah Schrager,” 2016
Widewalls, Lorenzo Pereira, “Radically sexual feminist art we need to remember,” 2016
Inside Art, “The Selfie as a form of power,” 2016
Art Report, Adriana Pauly, “Leah Schrager Confronts Sexuality in Feminist Art,” 2016
Dazed & Confused, Charlotte Jansen, “Meet the trailblazing women producing disruptive online and real life art, all of which is making more of an impact than you think,” 2016
Elephant Magazine, Charlotte Jansen, Girl on Girl, On Nipples, 2015
Konbini, DJ Pangburn, “Life Glitch: An Artistic Exploration of Our Lives as Digital Archives,” 2015
Dazed & Confused, Ashleigh Kane, “Instagram is a new gallery space for these US female artists” 2015
Rhizome, Josephine Bosma, “Sabotaging Big Daddy Mainframe, via Online Exhibition,” 2015
Animal NY, Prachi Gupta, “Artists Reclaim Their Bodies in New Online Exhibit,” 2015
Spook Magazine, Emma Marie Jones, “Reclaiming the Female Nude,” 2015
Dazed and Confused, Monique Todd, “The Digital Artists to Keep Your Eye On,” 2015
Vice, Sean J Patrick Carney, “I Went To Naked Therapy™,” 2014
Culturebot, Jeremy Barker, “Can Un-Licensed Therapy Be Performance Art? Can Prostitution?” 2012
DNAInfo, Huffington Post, Matthew Katz, “‘Naked Therapist’ Exhibit Booted from West Chelsea Art Festival,” 2012
NY Magazine, Noreen Malone, “Is ‘Naked Therapy’ Art or Commerce?” 2012

Further ONA press viewable here.
Further Sarah White press viewable here.



“Leah Schrager’s meditation on her performance of celebrity as an arts practice was our most-read WWAOTW column in 2016. Writes Christian: ‘Schrager’s deceptively complex brand of feminism, expressed through the unashamed sexuality of her beautifully abstracted self portraits, makes her voice unique among new media artists.'” Artslant, 2017

“New York City-based Leah Schrager has been described as “ a woman of her time”. Why? This multifaceted artist is battling against and commenting on a number of contemporary issues from the male gaze and digital censorship to celebrity culture, digital identity and sex. By using and photographing her own body as an art object through an alter ego called “Ona”, she reclaims her identity, her body, and her sexuality in racy selfies.” The Art Gorgeous, 2016

“In terms of contemporary art, Schrager’s hybridization of various practices including performance art, social practice, the internet as context/interface, and solicited audience participation makes the work interestingly difficult to define concretely. More often than not, performers struggle to entice their audiences into participating…What’s fascinating is how Schrager has exploited the male gaze to garner participants who are willing to pay their own money to contribute to the development of her project. It’s a coy and, frankly, economically taut method to approach interactive performance work while avoiding actual individual exploitation through maintaining the valued anonymity of her participants (I’m looking at you, Laurel Nakadate).” – Sean J Patrick Carney, Vice, 2014

“Aforementioned bathroom–selfie–taker par excellence Schrager also appears in The F-Word as the Naked Therapist, a project that sees the artist take on the role of a shrink who slowly undresses during the session. Men actually hire her to do this; thus, as the Naked Therapist, she appropriates the male gaze for profit and sells her image as a cam–girl for social and monetary capital. She elevates sex work to the level of post-modern art simply by asking it to be viewed as such. Of all the young artists featured, Schrager’s work leaves her viewers most unsettled.” … “These porno-critical works smoothly read as “feminist,” while Schrager’s work sits in a more uncomfortable—perhaps more honest—contemporary truth about the place of women in the art world. Schrager revels in her sexualized power and abject labor and uses it as a conceptual segue to address not only issues of agency but to also sub–textually address which bodies are privileged over others.” – Rachel Rabbit White, Broadly, 2016

“The problem, according to the event organizers? The performance seemed like “self-promotion,” rather than art. Those are mutually exclusive now? Have they looked around the art world lately?” – Noreem Malone, NY Mag, 2012

“Schrager, in her text, coins the term man hands for the phenomenon by which wom- en’s images of themselves accrue status and art market value when used by male artists…. As Schrager writes, the artists’ “bodies appear as fantasies, mutations, glitches, nightmares, mundanities, dating profiles.” All content morphs and mutates online; it’s an assumption implicit in these artists’ work. If they practice mirroring as a critical strategy, they are mirroring not only tropes of representation but the ways in which those representations morph and mutate, move and shift, the way they are used. The flux, trickery, and metamorphoses that are a staple of online and IRL fantasy worlds are present in “Body Anxiety” as both aesthetic and critical tactics.” – Johanna Fateman, Artforum, 2015

“A resonant voice in the new feminist art wave, Schrager’s work often triumphs sex positivity by reframing the power dynamic between model and photographer and challenging the notion that provocative imagery is less than art.” – Margaret Bechtold, A Woman’s Thing, 2016

“Anyway, the gallery’s rather gross dismissal of the project as a “commercial venture” certainly carries the stigma that White is really nothing but a prostitute, of either the literal (see above) or figurative (why is it now “art”?) variety. (And just to be clear, I don’t think White is a prostitute in either capacity.) Either way, it was deemed not art, using former Supreme Court Justine Stewart Potter’s infamous and thorough, “I know it when I see it” test. It would be all too easy to make jokes at White’s expense, and it’s quite possible that it’ll feature in some late night talk show monologue soon enough. But really, this ignores the actually challenging questions raised by White’s practice: Does it qualify as art? Without regard to whether it constitutes good or valuable art–a judgment I’m not qualified to make–the answer, from my perspective, is that it most definitely does qualify as art. In fact, the debate touches on one of the central critiques of performance in the visual art world that we’ve been exploring … Namely, the visual art world, whether commercial galleries or non-profit museums, is essentially object-, and therefore commodity-, oriented. And the hyper-capitalism of the visual art market these days, with record-breaking sales that led New York‘s Jerry Saltz to recently proclaim it a “nasty” “disgusting” “freak-show,” exacerbates the problem; how, given the crass commercialism of the entire field, can a curator credibly claim that one practice is commercial in an acceptable way, while another is not?” – Jeremy Barker, Culturebot, 2012

“Sophie Calle in reverse” – Vanessa Place, 2018

“Leah Schrager started making something akin to NFTs before there were NFTs. For over ten years, the artist has been making one-of-a-kind digital art that explores themes of celebrity and sexuality, merging the worlds of porn and art in a kind of ongoing online performance piece.” – Hyperallergic, November 16, 2021

““WHENEVER YOU PUT YOUR BODY ONLINE, in some way you are in conversation with porn.” The large-type epigraph on the landing page of the online exhibition “Body Anxiety” was culled from an interview with artist Ann Hirsch, whose frustrated musings in ☆ミ, or Starwave, an invitation-only Facebook group for “Internet-savvy” women art- ists, curators, and writers, spurred Jennifer Chan and Leah Schrager to organize the show. But the tensions percolating in “Body Anxiety” are long-standing. This unruly collection of work from mostly little-known artists, many from overlapping feminist subsets of the male-dominated Net art and alt-lit worlds, addresses perennially contentious issues of representation (pornographic and otherwise)/ They take as a given that social media – as a platform for art, activisim, and sexual expression, and as a potent facilitator of image appropriation and abuse – is the primary context for such investigations today…. In recent conversations, Chan and Schrager, both artists themselves, told me they intentionally launched the “Body Anxiety” website on the opening date of “Ho,” not as a protest per se, but as a pointed alternative. In their lengthy, highly personal curato- rial statements, they focus on their activist desires to promote work in which the artists use their own bod- ies to push back against an online culture of hidden- camera porn and violently misogynist trolling. As Chan notes, there’s bravery inherent in such self- exposure, because the threat that the images “could be decontextualized and aggregated for entertain- ment or ridicule produces an invariable amount of anxiety for any woman who chooses to show her face and body online.” Schrager, in her text, coins the term man hands for the phenomenon by which wom- en’s images of themselves accrue status and art- market value when used by male artists…. As Schrager writes, the artists’ “bodies appear as fantasies, mutations, glitches, nightmares, mundan- ities, dating profiles.” All content morphs and mutates online; it’s an assumption implicit in these artists’ work. If they practice mirroring as a critical strategy, they are mirroring not only tropes of repre- sentation but the ways in which those representa- tions morph and mutate, move and shift, the way they are used. The flux, trickery, and metamorphoses that are a staple of online and IRL fantasy worlds are present in “Body Anxiety” as both aesthetic and critical tactics…” – Fateman, Johanna. “Women on the Verge: Art, Feminism, and Social Media.” Artforum. Print, 2015.

“Schrager uses technology to push a sex-positive, female-empowered agenda…. Schrager sees this cultivation of her image into celebrity as an art project. She wants to create the first ‘celebrity as an art project’ – a fascinating Warholesque response to reality television and social media cultures where people become famous with no particular talent or content. In this instance the artist follows in the vein of Cosey Fanni Tutti, a British artist who in the mid-1970’s posed for soft pornographic glamor magazines as an art intervention, then showed the photographs at galleries and was subsequently blacklisted by the photographers who shot the images. Schrager, like Fanni Tutti, is a sex-positive artist who wants to both challenge and celebrate the female body adn the act of looking at women. But like Fanni Tutti, and other artists discussed in this book such as Schnemann and Wilke, the fact that Schrager is an attractive young woman, a former model and dancer, means that her intention can get muddied in its reception. While four decades have spanned between the groundswell of second-wave feminist artists and Schrager, many of the same debates remain: is the artist’s intention critical to the meaning of the work? How does objectifying the young female body create a complex and precarious practice for feminist artist? How can technology further a feminist stance? And is it possible to create sex-positive work and still be considered a feminist? The artists discussed in this chapter grapple with many of the same issues that their predecessors did. IT is fitting, then, that they appropriate themes and techniques of earlier feminist artists. I have argued that they borrow motifs, but use twenty-first-century responses to further these themes and ideas. While these emerging artists have not found a solution to many of these questions, they have continued complex debates begun by second-wave feminist practitioners.” – Kathy Battista, New York New Wave: The Legacy of Feminist Art in Emerging Practice, ‎I.B.Tauris, Print, 2019

“I love your work, and I think it’s so gutsy because it’s hard… I think if you were a cruise missile artist saying, ‘I just wanna make a million dollars per painting,’ I don’t think you would make the work you do. I think you’re really interested in the debate around bodies and women and desire.” – Kathy Battista, Women As/In Art Podcast Interview, 2023

“Very few artists in both Playboy and Artforum.” – Jerry Saltz, 2017