New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, New York State’s pre-eminent gun violence prevention advocacy organization, has announced a special edition of photographic prints by internationally renowned artist Laurie Simmons to benefit advocacy for Nicholas’s Law, the Child Access Prevention/Safe Storage Act, designed to help raise funds and awareness to continue to fight for common sense gun laws designed to safeguard children, more than two years after the tragic massacre of twenty schoolchildren and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT on December 14, 2012.
The photographs, titled Lying Guns and available in an edition of ten, each in a unique jewel or bright color, have been printed by master printer Gabe Greenberg of Greenberg Editions. One complete set of prints was recently exhibited and sold at Art Basel in Miami Beach, FL and a set of Artist’s Proofs is now available for individual sale online at Paddle8 and through Salon 94 in New York. All proceeds will benefit New Yorkers Against Gun Violence.
“We’re overwhelmed by Laurie Simmons’ generosity,” said Leah Gunn Barrett, Executive Director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence. “These images will help fund an education and outreach initiative to help pass our number-one legislative priority, Nicholas’s Law. Laurie is joining the battle to save lives that would otherwise be lost to preventable gun violence from guns stored carelessly in the home.”
The Child Access Prevention and Safe Storage Bill (Nicholas’ Bill) was introduced in both chambers of the New York State Legislature in 2014. It is named after 12-year-old Nicholas Naumkin of Saratoga Springs, NY, who was killed during a playdate in 2010 by a young friend toying with his father's unsecured gun. Nicholas’ Law would require that guns be kept locked or stored in a safe place when not on the person of their owner, preventing needless deaths annually and setting a strong example for responsible gun ownership.
Lying Guns is based on a 1990 series of black-and-white photographs by Simmons of commonplace objects on doll-sized legs. As discussed in Walking, Talking, Lying (Aperture, 2005) with text by former art critic and NYAGV Legislative Committee member Kate Linker, the images address the ambiguities of the post-World War object world evident in the anthropomorphic objects of 1950s and ‘60s television advertising. The prototype for this edition is another Lying Gun that alludes to the femme fatale, or “deadly woman,” of American detective stories and film noir through an archetypal image, the revolver. After Sandy Hook, Simmons began to look at the image differently and see the woman’s frailty where power had once been expressed. The Lying Guns also rest on a play on meaning—that images are fictional and often duplicitous. “This edition illustrates the multiple meanings emitted by all great art,” said Linker, “as well as the fascination and difficulty of the complex machines, guns, that now seem omnipresent in America. The images are like modern-day Warhols. And the most remarkable thing Laurie has done for New Yorkers Against Gun Violence is to use the brilliance of her art to help solve one of society’s most intractable problems.”
Work by Laurie Simmons has been exhibited internationally and throughout the United States and is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and other major museums. Her art was the subject of a recent one-person survey at The Neues Museum in Nuremberg, Germany and will be the focus of a special project exhibition at The Jewish Museum In New York in March 2015. Simmons is represented in New York by Salon 94.
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