Her work is now one of my favorite sense Pierre Et Gilles. Her extensive portfolio is very impressive and ts really ironic that I like her work sense I’ve always been terrified of dolls. Don’t get me wrong, I still kind of cringe a little bit every time I see puppet on one of her pictures. I guess the concept and idea helps me get through my phobia ajaja.
Interview of Laurie Simmons by Linda Yablonsky I found while doing the research, for Bomb magazine in 1996:
LY So, what came first: the medium or the message? The camera or the dolls?
LS I was drawn to photography by conceptual art. It had never occurred to me to pick up a camera before that. We’re talking 1973 in New York City. I’d had my art education, I’d studied to be a painter, sculptor, and printmaker. I never even considered using a camera until I came to New York and saw what was going on. At that point, it seemed like the only way to go since painting was dead, of course. (laughter)
LY Did you want to be a fashion photographer?
LS Oh. That one I couldn’t figure out. It was certainly a dream. A lot of artists I know had fantasies about being fashion photographers but that was far too outside my realm. I couldn’t have anybody in the studio when I worked, it was such a private activity.
LY Is that what started you photographing dolls and dollhouse life? Having to be alone?
LS Well partly, but it was also a decision not to deal with reality—with day-to-day reality. I didn’t want to go out on the street with my camera, to be a photojournalist or wait for the decisive moment. To have a subject matter I could control seemed to represent everything that photography wasn’t. I wanted to make pictures that were psychological, political, subversive. Images from my subconscious that could inform. I wanted to deal with subject matter, but in my studio.
LY But isn’t portrait photography done in those conditions?
LS Yes, but you’re still subject to the moods and whims of a human. I was doing portrait photography but I was the boss. Nobody could talk back. In the beginning I was doing only interiors without figures believing I could create confusion as to whether the interiors were real or not. I thought I was making magic occur in those photographs, so people wouldn’t be able to tell the actual scale of the rooms. Here you are thinking you’re looking at the real world, when suddenly a giant’s foot walks through. That was the feeling I had. It made me feel hyper-huge.
LY Your pictures are re-creations of real-life scenes on which you’ve superimposed another reality. They’re sort of super-natural.
LS I go for the realism. I’ve always rejected that picture you like (the doll facing a lipstick the same size as she is) because I thought the scale challenged the potential reality of the situation. I don’t want to make supernatural pictures. Characters never fly. I’m not interested in a visual Magical Realism. Given a chance, I’ll always go for accurate perspective and scale in the hopes that someone might believe the scene.
LY So you’re a kind of trickster.
LS I don’t mind being that.