Lorna Simpson. Wigs. 1994 21

Set of twenty-one lithographs and seventeen lithographed texts on felt, overall: 6' x 13' 6" (182.9 x 411.5 cm). Purchased with funds given by Agnes Gund, Howard B. Johnson, and Emily Fisher Landau. © 2023 Lorna Simpson

Artist, Lorna Simpson: Wigs Portfolio comprises of 21 different pieces of felt with images of wigs.

I live in Brooklyn and part of the project involved going to Fulton Mall, which is a large mall in downtown Brooklyn that has at least 50 different stores where you can buy all sorts of wigs from human hair to yak hair to synthetic hair.

So I spent a couple of afternoons going to each store and buying as many wigs that I thought were as interesting and kind of different from one another in terms of type. There is one wig that looks like a platinum blonde hairstyle from the fifties. Another wig that has braids that have been configured to fall in curly shapes. There are also two doll wigs that are fairly small in scale from the turn of the century.

All of the wigs are approximately to scale so that when you're standing before it, you do have the sense of it being a wig that one would put on one's head. And the wear of the wigs can either become someone else or become closer to the person that one sees oneself to be.

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