“The type of almost snapshot that Lorna uses in reconstructing [the photographs] really places them in performance. I think it is important to consider these as a private album that may be shared, but what we get as viewers now is access to something that is private, and I think that’s what Lorna’s action does.” —Paul Mpagi Sepuya
Paul Mpagi Sepuya (b. 1982, San Bernardino, CA) is a young artist whose work in photography and collage explores portraiture, storytelling, and queer culture. For LACMA’s great Artists on Art series, Sepuya selected Lorna Simpson’s work 1957-2009 Interior #3 (2009). On view now as part of the extraordinary exhibition Outliers and American Vanguard Art, which originated at the National Gallery of Art in early 2018. LACMA hosts the West Coast presentation of the exhibition, the first major exploration of “key moments in American art history when avant-garde artists and outliers intersected, and how their interchanges ushered in new paradigms based on inclusion, integration, and assimilation.” In case you missed it in DC and the High Museum in Atlanta last year, this is your last chance to catch it, while in Los Angeles for Frieze Los Angeles.
In this video, Sepuya discusses how Simpson challenges our perception of staged photographs versus snapshots, and how similar concerns inform his own work.