Exhibition on view December 6, 2023 – January 14, 2024 in the YoungArts Jewel Box

MIAMI, FL (November 29, 2023) – YoungArts, the national foundation for the advancement of artists, announces an exhibition of new work by celebrated American artist and filmmaker Laurie Simmons. Laurie Simmons: Autofiction will be on display at the YoungArts Jewel Box at 2100 Biscayne Boulevard in Miami from December 6, 2023, through January 14, 2024.

Autofiction offers familiar themes from Simmons’ oeuvre while recognizing her as one of the first artists to seriously embrace Artificial Intelligence (AI). As part of her ongoing exploration of new methods for creating images, she began collaborating with the AI platforms DALL-E and Stable Diffusion to construct real and imagined scenes from her own life. As she became more adept with these text-to-image models, the resulting images became eerily similar to her earlier series.

“I was used to collaborating with toymakers, makeup artists, body painters, and Photoshop editors, as well as sourcing images from the Picture Library,” says Simmons. “In July 2022 I started using AI text-to-image models, which I began calling ‘My Collaborators’, as the images we made together fit so seamlessly into the continuum of all my work. However, the first AI programs were unable to generate lifelike hands and faces, and I felt the need to correct my collaborator’s mistakes by adding my own painted and sewn embellishments. I love the way this new work finds a space between painting, photography, drawing and sculpture.”

After selecting images generated from her AI collaborator, Simmons prints and stretches them on silk or linen, and then alters (“corrects”) the images by applying paint, threadwork and collage, creating three-dimensional works that simultaneously enhance and conceal their AI origins. The latter stage reflects the human drive for symmetry and perfection, where the AI tools resist such instincts. Defying binary definitions, Simmons’ latest works offer a continuum of the artist’s ongoing fascination with in-between states, where faces are doll-like, hands become flippers, and architecture is an illusion.

Autofiction is a term used to describe writing that blends aspects of autobiography with fiction, a hybrid of real life and fantasy. As Simmons notes, “My work isn’t specifically about my own story. Rather, it’s a kind of idealized cultural memory of the position of women when I grew up. If you were to read a visual novel made up of every image I’ve ever made, it would unfold like chapters from my own fantastical autobiography.”

Accompanying the exhibition is a 5-minute film by Simmons presented at Christian Louboutin’s shop in the Miami Design District (155 North East 40th Street). The film further develops the backstory of the characters in the exhibition, transporting viewers to another realm and immersing them in scenes from Simmons’ character studies.

YoungArts is also excited to offer one of their artists a three-month apprenticeship with Simmons beginning February 2024. The artist will receive $10,000 and have the opportunity to travel to either New York City or Simmons’ studio in Connecticut to meet with her in person. During the apprenticeship, the artist will have the opportunity to share their work, receive feedback and discuss their career goals. The program is supported by Christian Louboutin as part of an ongoing partnership between Simmons and the brand. Applicants must be 18 and over, living in the US and working in any medium, including performance, installation, and video. For more information, visit youngarts.org.

Laurie Simmons: Autofiction joins YoungArts’ robust schedule of programming presented during Miami Art Week. Additional programming includes Desde el Charco, a solo exhibition by visual artist Isabella Mellado at the YoungArts Gallery; a YoungArts booth at NADA curated by Luisa Múnera and featuring the work of 13 artists spanning generations of YoungArts winners; and YoungArts Artist Panel Discussion, “Between Architecture and the Body: Inclusive Futurism in Art” at UNTITLED with artists Hanna Ali, Leo Castaneda, Lee Pivnik and James Allister Sprang.

About Laurie Simmons

Laurie Simmons is an internationally recognized artist. Since the mid-70s, she has staged scenes for her camera, creating images with intensely psychological subtexts and nonlinear narratives. By the early 1980s, Simmons was at the forefront of a new generation of artists, predominantly women, whose use of photography began a new dialogue in contemporary art. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, all in New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC; the Hara Museum in Tokyo; and the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art in Amsterdam, among others. In 2018–19 her retrospective Big Camera/Little Camera was presented at the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. In 2006 she produced and directed her first film, The Music of Regret, starring Meryl Streep, Adam Guettel and the Alvin Ailey 2 Dancers. The film premiered at the Museum of Modern Art. Her feature film MY ART premiered at the 73rd Venice Film Festival and Tribeca Film festival in 2017. Simmons lives and works in New York and Connecticut.

About YoungArts

Established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison, YoungArts – the national foundation for the advancement of artists – identifies exceptional young artists, amplifies their potential, and invests in their lifelong creative freedom. YoungArts provides space, funding, mentorship, professional development and community throughout artists’ careers. Entrance into this prestigious organization starts with a highly competitive application for talented artists ages 15–18, or grades 10–12, in the United States that is judged by esteemed discipline-specific panels of artists through a rigorous blind adjudication process.

About Christian Louboutin

Christian Louboutin established his business in the heart of Paris in 1991, first with a collection for Women followed by a Men’s collection a few years later, both recognizable by the signature red lacquered sole. 2014 welcomed Christian Louboutin Beauté, while in 2022 the House launched a new category dedicated to Kids and Pets: Loubi Kids. With a prolific collection of shoes, leather goods and accessories, Christian Louboutin now counts more than 150 points of sales around the world.

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Laurie Simmons, Autofiction: Indoor Swimming Pool (Anne), 2023. Pigment print on silk, acrylic paint, poly fill, thread, Dalle2.