Emily Peacock die laughing

September 17, 2021 – February 5, 2022 John M. O'Quinn Gallery

About the Exhibition

die laughing presents new work by Houston-based artist Emily Peacock. Through photography, video, sculpture, performance, and installation, this exhibition explores humor and levity as coping mechanisms for tragedy. For nearly a decade, Peacock has used comedy to confront essential yet challenging aspects of the human condition. 

Essay by Natalie Zelt, Ph.D., Terra Foundation for American Art Fellow in American Photography at Rijksmuseum.


Emily Peacock is Houston-based artist whose work explores her familial and personal experiences. She received her MFA in Photography/Digital Media from the University of Houston and is an Assistant Professor of Art at Sam Houston State University.  Peacock was a 2013-2014 Lawndale Artist Studio Program participant. In 2016, she received the Houston Arts Alliance Individual Artist Grant; in 2019, the New Faculty Research Grant.  She has exhibited her work throughout the United States and in Vienna, Austria, and the United Kingdom. Peacock’s work is in the collections of the Art Museum of Southeast Texas and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Natalie Zelt is the Terra Foundation for American Art Postdoctoral Photography Fellow at the Rijksmuseum. She is a specialist in the history of art of the United States with a focus on photography and critical race and gender studies. She earned her doctorate at the University of Texas at Austin in 2019. Zelt has worked as a curator for more than a decade, independently, as founding member of the anti-racist feminist collective INGZ, and for institutions such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Zelt is the author of several articles on photography and identity in the United States. She currently lives and works in Amsterdam.