EYE CANDY

Eyes Wide Shut


In her photographs, Laurie Simmons has observed miniature dollhouses so acutely they begin to take on life-sized meaning, and portrayed a life-sized sex doll so demurely it felt more character study than porn fantasy. But, as the artist lamented recently, “I’ve tried so many times to bring human figures into my pictures, mostly with some degree of failure.” In “How We See,” her new solo exhibition at the Jewish Museum in New York, the models in the pictures, like Ajak Deng, are of flesh rather than plastic, but their most human feature—their eyes—are once again facsimiles of the real thing. Working with the makeup artists James Kaliardos and Landy Dean (and the designer Rachel Antonoff), Simmons had the models’ closed eyelids painted over as unblinking, trompe l’oeil “eyes.” It’s like gazing into the uncanny valley of the dolls.

“How We See” runs through August 9, 2015, at New York’s Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave.

1

How We See/Lindsay (Gold), 2015 by Laurie Simmons. © Laurie Simmons, courtesy the artist and Salon 94.

2

How We See/Ajak (Violet), 2015 by Laurie Simmons. © Laurie Simmons, courtesy the artist and Salon 94.

3

How We See/Tatiana (Pink), 2015 by Laurie Simmons. © Laurie Simmons, courtesy the artist and Salon 94.

4

How We See/Edie (Green), 2015 by Laurie Simmons. © Laurie Simmons, courtesy the artist and Salon 94.