Skip to main content

Vantage Point (work of art)

Artwork Info

Created
1991
Artist
Lorna Simpson
Nationality
American
Birth/Death
1960-
Dimensions
Overall:
50 x 70 in.
(127 x 177.8 cm)
Medium
Photography

Credit

Purchased with funds from the North Carolina Museum of Art Foundation, Art Trust Fund

Culture
American

About

In Vantage Point Simpson juxtaposes her own verso portrait with that of a face mask, alluding to an African heritage without declaring it. She presents each image out of context: both are disembodied from the parts that complete them—the woman’s face and lower body lie outside our view; the mask is detached from the full masquerade ensemble that defines and activates its power.

This suggests the artist’s tenuous connection to the continent from which she is separated in time and space, and poses the question of how one does, or does not, have access to one’s individual life history. The simple terms inside and out frame the questions evoked by the juxtaposition: What is the relationship between public bodies and private selves, between heritage and lived experience? How are we complicit in constructing who, and what, we see?

tags: form, shape, perspective, identity, place

Images

  • Lorna Simpson Vantage Point 1991 Photography

    Vantage Point by Lorna Simpson