It is instinctive to dissect art, but the genius behind New York native Xaviera Simmons’ multifaceted masterpieces is she engages you with all the senses, absorbing you into her atmosphere. Like human nature bent into her mold, she creates resonance that all can relate to.
Her style is always raw and uncensored, but despite some of the more explicit qualities, there is still a hidden feeling of symbolism in her art that adds a touch of innocence and flexibility to her perspective. Her work displays a certain political potency, in an almost inflammatory and inappropriate manner, but she achieves this controversy in such a graceful way it is difficult to peg her exact purpose without taking a closer look.
Simmons’ inspiration is drawn from her heritage, using the urban New York landscape and aesthetic natural settings as a backdrop for her underlying message. She makes it clear the importance is not in the details, but in the emotion created by the blatant ambiance.
In other pieces, such as her Index conceptual sculpture series from 2011, Simmons combines photography, sculpture, and collage all held together with clothes pins, memorabilia and the occasional braid of hair. These pieces bring to mind the unique human fingerprint we all leave behind, (a suggestive wink towards defining identity as a peek under a woman’s skirt perhaps?) like Simmons has captured a moment of epiphany in a snapshot before it is forgotten or altered.
Currently, Simmons is participating in the Artist’s Experiment through the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), a budding initiative aimed at promoting and collaborating with innovative new artists and their ideas. The program consists of many rising and established artists sharing their conceptual works and inspirations through “experimental public interactions.” To quote Xaviera Simmons, “Politics is ephemeral, and performance is ephemeral.”
Ambiguous and peculiarly candid, Xaviera Simmons’ success stems from her ability to stretch the definition of art into something we have never seen in past artistic movements. Utilizing all mediums from paint, photography, sound and feathers, Simmons’ style is becoming a standard for contemporary artists to uphold.
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To connect with Xaviera follow her @xavierasimmons
Check out video of MoMA’s Xaviera Simmons Artists Experiment: