1. 1) http://www.metmuseum.org/TOAH/hd/pcgn/ho_1998.440.htm - Walking Gun
Denotation: The picture is in black and white. The combination of the two colors creates a gray color as well. There is a spotlight on the image of the walking gun, and a shadow around the edges. The spotlight creates a shadow of the walking gun behind the original image, making the background gun look larger and more prominent. The slender legs of the gun appear to belong to a doll wearing high heels. The legs are not facing forward. The legs look as if they are molded right into the gun. At the tip of the gun and near the muzzle, there are nearly transparent strings holding it upwards. The gun is facing toward the left. The whole scene appears to take place inside a shadow box.
Connotation: Laurie Simmons is well known for her use of inanimate objects such as paper dolls, ventriloquists, Barbie dolls, and puppets. She stages these objects and utilizes a dramatic use of lighting in order to create her images. In the past, women have been viewed as merely objects, just acting as a womb that cooks and cleans for their families. In today’s contemporary world, many women have the choice of what they want to do. They can choose whether to be a vessel carrying an offspring or they can find their place in the workforce or even a combination of both. The purpose of this picture is to show “women as objects.” However, even though women can be viewed as objects, they are still in charge. It appears that the string has the power of pulling the trigger. It is like a puppet and society is the puppeteer.
2. 2) http://www.mediabistro.com/unbeige/original/(Laurie%20Simmons).jpg -Glamour Pictures
Denotation: The image is colorful and bright. She is in a bathroom setting. There is a pink sink and bathtub, a colorful floor, and a black and white tiled wall. The Barbie doll almost appears to be an actual woman because of the lighting. The size of the doll is large and in charge which is apparent by the looks of the size of the bathtub and sink. It looks as if it is a doll house because the proportions aren’t feasible. She is set up in a provocative manner. The Barbie is slender, blonde, and busty. We can see her figure very well because she is not clothed. Her skin is tan and glossy and is contrasted with the white bathing suit and colorful background. The position of her body is awkward and she is staring at the ground.
Connotation: Laurie Simmons was asked along with nine other female artists for the 70th anniversary of Glamour magazine to create an image of what their perspective of glamour is. Laurie’s perception of glamour is depicted in this piece. The position of the doll makes her appear “slutty” or “easy” as some say these days because of the attention drawn to her private parts. The attention is immediately drawn to the doll’s physical anatomy, thus objectifying her. The woman is purposely put in this position to be the center of attention of the shot. The Barbie’s gaze is focused on the floor, instead of straight forward, looking at the viewer. Because she is staring at the ground, she is most likely searching for something, or does not feel completely confident in herself. She is in a domestic setting and could most likely a housewife.