A Conversation With Laurie Simmons In Her Home

Art Privee
Sep 19, 2013 8:27PM

We were warned that we would have to take off our shoes when invited to photographer Laurie Simmons' home because her floors were newly stained; but no one cared because we were all interested to hear what she had to say about her work.  

Her apartment is warm and chic. There is a large open kitchen next to the living room where she served us lovely wine, cheeses and sweet cakes. 

Simmons is extremely organized and has archived her work in a professional manner—there are library shelves filled with rows and rows of her images in binders. Simmons said, "every image that was ever shot, the finals, are all in a safe." She feels that it is satisfying to have her work in order, "It is like having your house in order." 

Jenny Blessing, Senior Curator of Photography at the Guggenheim introduced Simmons and posed questions. In her introduction, Blessing said that Simmons came from "The Pictures Generation." Simmons was raised with the myth that photographs always tell the truth, though later had a "light bulb"moment when she realized that pictures can lie and you can trick the viewer. Many of her pictures reflect media and gender roles, and when Simmons photographs objects like toys or dolls and they seem to come alive, that is her gift.

Simmons sees herself as an artist not just a photographer—an artist who uses a camera.  And, if you're in New York City this fall, see Laurie Simmons's Two Boys, a new exhibition at the Arnold & Marie Schwartz Gallery Met; presented in conjunction with the North American premiere of Nico Muhly's opera of the same name. Simmons has created 4 original photographs for the show, which will be on display in Gallery Met through January 15, 2014.  

Simmons is represented by Salon94 Gallery. She is having a very big year—in addition to her Met Opera show, she was featured in WSJ Magazine's August issue in the spread, Portraits of the Players From This Year's Venice Biennale. Simmons is also a guest editor of Wallpaper's October issue. On November 14, Brooklyn Museum is going to honor Simmons and her daughter, Lena Dunham at their Women in the Arts Luncheon.

For more on contemporary art and the world's finest private collections, visit www.artprivee.org.

Art Privee