Photographs by John Simmons, ASC On View

The cinematographer’s still photographs and other artwork are featured at the Getty Museum and Casa 0101.

Samantha Dillard

The cinematographer’s still photographs and other artwork are featured at Getty Museum and Casa 0101.

John Simmons, ASC has a prolific career as both a cinematographer and still photographer, and he recently shared his photographs, their stories and inspirations with the Getty Museum. Simmons’ work was featured in the Getty’s “Art Stories,” which offer perspectives on artists and their work. In a Q&A with the Getty’s digital producer Thuy Bui, titled “A Photograph Has to Be Like Music,” Simmons was asked “about his lifelong investment in Black visibility and his early days of capturing everyday moments on the streets of Chicago.”

Simmons shared such celebrated photos as Shoes, Girl Eating Ice Cream and Fight Like A Girl. About his creative work, the cinematographer said, “One thing that injustice has done to me is it hasn’t made me bitter, but [made me] want to create a better picture.”

Fight Like A Girl, Los Angeles. CA. 2019. © John Simmons, ASC

Simmons’ photographs as well as never-before-seen multi-layered paper collage cartographies are also currently on view at Casa 0101’s Jean Deleage Art Gallery. The exhibition, Capturing Beauty: The Artwork and Photography of John Simmons, will be on view through June 5, 2021. Of the new work, Casa 0101 explains, “Simmons’ paper collage cartographies are mappings that zoom in and out of political and social narratives [and showcase] the harsh reality and struggles of Black American history without losing a sense of hope.” 

To learn more and to listen to a discussion about the work between Simmons and curator Jimmy Centeno, visit Casa 0101's Youtube channel for parts one and two

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