Laurie Simmons
[Photographer, b. 1949, Long Island, New York, lives in New York.]

 People are much more willing nowadays to believe that pictures lie than [that] they can express any kind of truth. 
 I think of scientific veracity as an idea from the past—the scientists say it is so, the photo is proof. Even the authoritative power of the word “actual”—an actual what? An actual retouched photo, an actual collaged photo? 
 I realized early on that artifice attracted me to an image more than any other quality—I mean artifice in the sense of staging and heightened color and exaggerated lighting, not a surreal or fictive moment… I think the lighting and feeling of Cinemascope, the movies I saw as a kid, always stayed with me as a kind of glorious vision of reality. 
 I was aware that people thought a certain type of photo work was either stealing, borrowing, copying or dumb. 
 …Let’s get to the image as quickly as possible, let’s get to the message even faster, and let’s find the scale to knock you over the head with the image and the message.