Jessica Backhaus was born in Cuxhaven, Germany in 1970 and grew up in an artistic family. At the age of sixteen, she moved to Paris, where she later studied from 1989-1992 Photography and Visual Communications. Here she met Gisèle Freund in 1992, who became her mentor. In 1995 her passion for photography drew her to New York, where she assisted photographers, pursued her own projects and lived until 2009.
Jessica Backhaus is regarded as one of the most distinguished voices in contemporary photography in Germany today. Her work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including the National Portrait Gallery, London, the Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, MARTa Herford, Herford and the Kunsthalle Erfurt, Erfurt.
Her photographs are in many prominent art collections including the Taunus Sparkasse, Germany, Art Collection Deutsche Börse, Germany, ING Art Collection, Belgium, Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA and the Margulies Collection, Miami, USA.
To date, she has nine publications to her name; Jesus and the Cherries, 2005, What Still Remains, 2008, One Day in November, 2008, I Wanted to See the World, 2010, Once, still and forever, 2012, Six degrees of freedom, 2015, A TRILOGY, 2017, Far away but close, 2019 and Cut Outs, 2021. All books are published by Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg except Far away but close that was published by Another Place Press, Scotland. Her work is also featured in the book: Women Photographers by Boris Friedewald (Prestel Verlag 2014/2018) and Kunst? Ja, Kunst! Die Sehnsucht der Bilder von Jean-Christophe Ammann (Westend Verlag, 2014).
Jessica Backhaus is represented by Robert Morat Galerie in Berlin, Galerie Anja Knoess in Cologne, Petra Becker/ International Art Bridge in Meggen, Bridgette Mayer Gallery in Philadelphia, Robert Klein Gallery in Boston, MiCamera in Milan, Wouter van Leeuwen Gallery in Amsterdam and Carlos Carvalho Arte Contemporanea in Lisbon.
Since 2009 Jessica Backhaus lives and works again in Berlin. In 2012 FOAM Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam produced a short documentary Wonder Jessica Backhaus, a film by Willem Aerts.