March 23, 2011

Laurie Simmons

Walking Gun, 1991
Laurie Simmons (American, born 1949)
Gelatin silver print
53 x 89 in. (134.6 x 226.1 cm)
Purchase, Anonymous Gift, 1998 (1998.440)
© Laurie Simmons

Source: Laurie Simmons: Walking Gun (1998.440) | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

In the early 1990s, Simmons created wickedly funny large-format photographs showing spotlit doll legs topped with various toy-objects: revolvers, houses, cameras, and cakes. By aping the scale and impact of billboards and movie screens, Simmons turns the "directorial" mode of slick staging and lighting against itself, to reveal the spectacle of "woman-as-object" in contemporary culture. Sending up the old-movie trope of representing the man creeping in shadow carrying a gun, the artist offers instead the death-dealing seductress of film noir in miniature, a doll capable of killing its master at a moment's notice.

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