Lorna Simpson is a pioneering conceptual photographer who works with a variety of techniques including collage, film and more recently, sculpture, to explore ideas of representation and identity often through the lens of history and memory.
Known for her collages centred on Black women, Lorna’s series, Special Characters, was exhibited at Hauser & Wirth, Hong Kong in 2020. In this project, Lorna takes the faces of women from advertisements in Ebony magazine, isolates the figures and presents them in collages with ink washes, to demonstrate the reinforcement of stereotypes in everyday imagery.
She’s currently showing Everrrything at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles until January 2022. The works on view continue the artist’s on-going exploration of imagery in vintage issues of Ebony and Jet magazines, which she appropriates and reimagines. Everrrything also debuts new indoor and outdoor sculptural works from the artist.
For ESSENCE’s first-ever commission this year, Lorna collaborated with pop singer and businesswoman, Rihanna, to create the cover image and 12 collages for the magazine’s January/February 2021 issue. In these superimposed collages, Rihanna is framed in archival imagery and styling, with bright bursts of watercolour.