American artist and filmmaker Laurie Simmons grew up in suburban New York, immersed in daytime TV. ‘You name it,’ she told us, ‘I watched it. I have a TV brain.’ She is also the girl who never stopped playing with dolls; from the mid-1970s, she began photographing them in various situations, moving to increasingly ambitious settings. In 2009 she commissioned a specially adapted life-sized sex doll from Japan, taking her work to a spooky new level of realism.
For us, she created a 16-page extravaganza of jellybean-scattered images from her own work and by artists she admires, among them her husband Carroll Dunham, Sarah Charlesworth and Jimmy Desana, inspired by Bill Evans’ 1963 jazz album, Conversations With Myself.
Simmons’ most recent work, My Art, is her debut feature film, a comic tale in which she plays a frustrated artist called Ellie Shine, who displays the same fearless spirit as Simmons herself.
Alongside works by selected artists, Simmons’ pages included her own photographs featuring the Love Doll she bought in Tokyo in 2009, such as Wes Gordon Reversible Clutch Coat, Fall 2013, on Love Doll with Brie Ruais Sculpture, 2013, seen here on the cover
Top, self-portrait in Simmons’ studio