The depth of focus is exceptional, the matte blackness of the de-materialized background that emphatically accents the natural objects’ breathtaking plasiticity. The tulip blossoms in the large format photographs by Luzia Simons give the impression of being three-dimensional. Even when cut off at the edge of the frame, it appears as if the flowers would lie in display cases or float in a diffuse space without direction, without an above or below. Some are simple compositions, with just a pair of blossoms, while others are more complex, opulent formations of cut flowers with stems and leaves piled atop one another. In their naturalistic reproduction the tulips command an amazing presence. At times they are somewhat unsettling, as their lush figures seem almost to threaten us. This sense of the trascendent or sublime that encounters us in an art historical category derived from the landscape motif and its vast expanse, before which we as observers seem infinitesimally small. The use of digitally generated, high-resoultion image data allows the artist to create colossal formats. She assembles seperate parts of the picture into panoramic diptychs and triptychs spanning several meters across. […]
To begin with, the flower belongs to the pollinating species of flowering plants. From a botanical standpoint, the purpose of flowers and blossoms with their blaze of color is to attract pollinators and guarantee reproduction. Butterflies, honeybees, bumblebees and beetles are meant to land on or climb into them. Thus many flower photographs are also studies of sexuality. A sensual yet never suggestive component is also latently present in the magnified floral still lifes by Luzia Simons: the bursting flower buds, the carnality of the partially or completely open petals, the erect filaments or flower tubes sprayed with pollen certainly welcome sexual associations. She portrays moments of greatest fertility, which nonetheless remain but a brief instance in the never-ending cycle of life. After every climax follows inevitable decay.
Beyond a mere “art for art’s sake“ Luzia Simons showcases her flowers in a unique combination of material accuracy, beauty and vanitas. She deconstructs conventional representations of these motifs, such as floral ornamentation, patterns or decoration, by elevating them to art. The technique that she uses to do so is equally exceptional. For her tulip arrangements realized under the series title Stockage (French for storage or stockpiling – also in the trading sense) she does not use a camera, but a special scanner with which she can achieve incomparable spatial depth. What makes her scanograms so special is the effect made by the pollen that falls on the scanner’s glass plate: instead of the classical vertical-horizontal picture division, it emphasizes foreground and background, as well as the dark backdrop before which the flowers appear like sculptural forms. As a result, the tulips’ rendering oscillates between extreme closeness and great distance. (excerpt from: Matthias Harder: Mysterious, Dangerous Beauty, 2012)
Luzia Simons (*1953 in Quixadá, Ceará, Brazil) studied Fine Arts at the University Sorbonne, Paris. Her works are included in public collections such as Deutscher Bundestag, Berlin; DZ Bank Kunstsammlung, Frankfurt; Fonds National d’Art Contemporai, Paris-Ile de France; Museo de Arte Sacra, Belem, Brazil. She lives and works in Berlin.