Laurie Simmons's Two Boys opened last wednesday, the 11th and will run through January 15th; so you have plenty of time to go and see it. The event was held at the Metropolitan Opera House, in the middle of fashion week: so the crowd was a who's who of the social art scene. Champagne was passed around by waiters if spotless shirts, while people chatted after taking what seemed a cursory glance at Simmons work.
The socialites should have had a closer look, Simmons' large scale prints of mannequin like figures in front of computer screens were weird, wonderful and haunting.
Personally, the pieces hit close to home. In my adolescence I would sit in front of a screen all day surfing dial up internet; then it was World of Warcraft, Netflix marathons, and now here I am again, in front of a screen writing. I spoke to the artist and she said she was trying to evoke what it is boys do during this digital age; and that message was clear. Simmons' has worked a lot with girls as a theme in the past, so it's interesting to see her take on boys. Either she has a son, or simply knows 21st century boys. The message was obvious.
However, the exhibition is not meant to stand alone, it is part of the opening of the opera Two Boys and is meant to be seen either before or after seeing the opera. The opera was not playing the night of the opening unfortunately, but the pomp and bourgeois sensibilities of the Metropolitan Opera house was still there, providing a backdrop to these interesting works.
Review by John Hutt
Photographs by Tanya Kiseleva