Lorna Simpson

Lorna Simpson (2007)

"Actress-4G" (2007), Graphite, Ink, & water color on paper

         This piece by Lorna Simpson titled, “ Actress-4G”, is a delicate, sophisticated, and emotional piece. Although there is a lot of simplicity to this piece, I find that it has the tendency to be somewhat complicated at the same time. It has a very obvious emotional effect to it, and strongly relates to violence against women from my point of view.

         When I first glanced at this piece the light detail of her face was what caught my eye the most. With a such small amount of media on the paper she was able to capture such an emotional expression on this women’s face. The delicate look of this piece makes her seem as fragile as glass, and as if she is barely there. Women who are victims of violence tend to feel this same emotion of fragility and loneliness. With her facial outline slightly marked with a light pencil shading, the hint of high chiseled cheek bones, and the colorful necklace, she seems very elegant, but deep down something is causing her pain. Like victims of violent acts they hide their feelings, and keep them buried deep down inside.

         Her eyes are closed, with the slightly upward turn of her lips, that gives the idea of making a painful, and sad facial expression. The light creases in her eye lids along with her lowered eye brows also give the small detail of making this tortured, yet exquisite expression.

         It seems as though that her beauty on the outside is just a cover up for what is hidden on the inside. Most victims think they can just cover up their pain and sadness with something else, such as material things. In this case, this women is covering up her suffering with beauty. She makes her self look presentable as if she leads the perfect and happy life, but deep down she is eating herself alive.

         I think this piece can help those that have been suffering from violence, by relating to this piece. I think that Lorna creates this woman to portray the role of a “battered house wife” , which in today’s society is a common title. With Lorna’s work, women can connect to it and realize that they aren’t alone. This piece can help bring them closer together and awaken their inner courage to help fight against these crimes.


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