Laurie Simmons is one the most pioneering photographers who brought art closer to fashion photography in the 70s. Her photos have reflected a conceptually stylized profile that improved the perception of fashion photography in the market. At another level, Simmons’ imagery interests focus on women figures, while her art themes have been mainly doll girls. She deliberately gives her doll girls a rather inhuman and weird look, which sometimes makes you feel quite uncomfortable… Here are 5 things you should know about this great New York-based photographer.
1. She is not only a renowned photographer, but also a filmmaker
Tiny Furniture is one of her recent films, which was written by her 24-year-old daughter, Lena Dunham. Her real sister Grace also stars in the film; it certainly sounds more like family business than filmmaking. Music of Regret was her previous film showing her photographic work through three acts; in one of them Meryl Streep was starring.
2. Simmons is the mother of a famous daughter
Lena Dunham is the famous creator, writer and star of the HBO series Girls. She has received a number of prestigious awards for her achievements and is becoming a rising star in the Hollywood film business. It’s not only Lena who is an artist in the family; Simmons’ husband Carroll Dunham is a painter, while their second daughter is also an actress.
3. Simmons has a proven attraction to feminism
The celebrated artist has always expressed her huge attraction to various ventriloquist miniatures and dolls that serve as her main objects. Objects that apparently relate to adult fantasies and gender roles. Simmons has been using them to reflect woman’s role in society and this is actually what she aims to portray whenever she picks up her camera. She’s definitely one of the most important photographers in the world who are strongly associated with feminism.
4. Doll girls photographs are among of her best projects
Doll girls have been a major inspiration for Simmons’ imagery. They’re not simple dolls; either they are real fashion models given artificially sparkling eyes, which are painted in a way to convey an uncanny and cold gaze, or they are articulated life size Japanese dolls posing in front of Simmons’ camera like real human beings.
5. She has a fascination for high-end sex dolls from Japan
Being very passionate about the project called The Love Doll: Days 1-30, Simmons almost gave life to non-human sex dolls, which she purchased directly from Japan. She transformed her house in New York to an artificial place where her two beloved life-sized plastic dolls seemed to experience a real life. Simmons captured their daily “actions” highlighting their relationship through a series of photographs that were presented at the famous art space Salon’94 in New York.
Image via: Laurie Simmons; Laurie Simmons instagram; DelawareToday; The American Prospect; National Post; salon94; marthagarzon.com