Walking Gun

Artist: Laurie Simmons (American, born 1949)

Date: 1991

Medium: Gelatin silver print

Dimensions: Frame: 134.6 × 226.1 cm (53 × 89 in.)

Classification: Photographs

Credit Line: Purchase, Anonymous Gift, 1998

Accession Number: 1998.440

Rights and Reproduction: © Laurie Simmons


In the early 1990s, Simmons created wickedly funny large-format photographs showing spotlit doll legs topped with various toy-objects: revolvers, houses, cameras, and cakes. By aping the scale and impact of billboards and movie screens, Simmons turns the "directorial" mode of slick staging and lighting against itself, to reveal the spectacle of "woman-as-object" in contemporary culture. Sending up the old-movie trope of representing the man creeping in shadow carrying a gun, the artist offers instead the death-dealing seductress of film noir in miniature, a doll capable of killing its master at a moment's notice.