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Art and Photography - Essay Example

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There seems to exist a fine line between what is revered as a work of art and what is considered a well lighted photograph. Laurie Simmons considers herself to be an artist whom employs her camera as a mere tool ("Shooting in Broad Daylight"). While at first blush the statement appears to be a play on words, it is not…
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Art and Photography
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Art or Photography There seems to exist a fine line between what is revered as a work of art and what is considered a well lightedphotograph. Laurie Simmons considers herself to be an artist whom employs her camera as a mere tool ("Shooting in Broad Daylight"). While at first blush the statement appears to be a play on words, it is not. Review of her photography reveals that indeed Simmons is correct in considering herself as an artist. In this paper, I will argue that Simmons creates art with her camera as only a tool. In so doing, I will demonstrate that what Simmons photographs is indeed her artistic creation. Her photographs are a visual testament to her creations which are not subject to the viewers interpretation.
One does not have to prefer the work of Laurie Simmons to realize that she is conveying a message. Indeed, "Walking, Talking Lying" exposes her comments on what is happening in society today. Her manipulations are sarcastic and are a haunting reminder of where the world is headed. Her photographs tell the story of interplay between people and objects. For example, in "Walking Talking Lying" there is a black and white photograph of a woman's lower body with a gun as its' head (Simmons 1-160). The gun is a small revolver - one which can be easily be handled by a woman of any size and body is covered by a thin black slip. Even the harshest of critics cannot say that this piece is a mere photograph. It is a statement that is offered by Ms. Simmons which compels the looker to reflect on the state of women today, based upon her recollections of
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her past (Simmons 1-160). The question the viewer is left with is whether this memory is a fond one or a foreboding commentary.
Oftentimes, a viewer may consider artwork to bring pleasurable feelings and that is not necessarily one that emanates from the depictions of Ms. Simmons. I regard art to be a form of communication. It is not an intellectual article, or frothy novella. It is not limited to Monet's pond scenes and Chaucer's prose. Art is something that compels reflection. The photographs of Ms. Simmons do just that through the manipulations of objects and light.
For example, the walking camera makes one wonder if she is reflecting upon the status of her career. We know that her friend is the walking photographer whom is obviously tipping over but we are compelled to wonder why. Moreover, we are further forced to wonder why on earth this subject matter served as an inspiration to her. Perhaps she is mocking the seriousness of photography or her own obsession with it. In any case, we are compelled to wonder. Some of the answers may be found in her own perceptions of her childhood. It has been noted that Simmons has "suspiciously positive feelings about her childhood" ("This artist's camera does lie ").
In conclusion, while one can ponder as to the motivations behind the photographs published by Ms. Simmons, it cannot be denied that they provide reason for thought. It is not one's tastes that define art. Rather it is the reaction that the viewer has upon looking at it. Ms. Simmons is not a mere photographer. She is an artist with a message to tell and possesses a brilliant manner by which to tell it. The camera is merely the vessel or tool that she chooses to convey it.

Works Cited
Burdick, Ariella. "This artist's camera does lie ." Sperone Westwater 12 July 2007 B4-B6. . 6 Sep 2008 .
Fusaro, Joe. "Shooting in Broad Daylight." Education: Teaching with Contemporary Art . 2008. 6 Sep 2008 .
Simmons, Laurie. Walking Talking Lying. 1 . New York: Westwater, 2005. Read More
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