Erica McKeehen’s photographs expand representation of sex workers and strengthen

visibility for those, especially femmes, who are often villainized for expressing sexual autonomy. As a sex worker and local burlesque

performer and producer, McKeehen creates self-portraits and collaboratively, with care, photographs her peers who navigate a range of roles within the sex

industry, combining images with written narratives inspired by their conversations. McKeehen also documents the resurgence of live burlesque in

Chicago, offering a contemporary, insider view into the charged, nocturnal life of an art form that continues to challenge the status quo 150 years after it was first introduced in America.

McKeehen received her BS from Ohio University, her MA from Columbia College Chicago, and she is currently an MFA candidate at Columbia College Chicago. She also works as a Curatorial Assistant at the Museum of Contemporary Photography and as an Instructor in the Photography Department at Columbia College Chicago.

MA ’21, MFA ’23

artist / curator / performer



IG: @ericamckeehen