I should have written about her a long time ago, when she was still alive, but it’s better late than never. Born in 1968 in New Jersey, Lauren E. Simonutti passed away only a few days ago due to complications of her illness. In her short life span she managed to achieve much more than most will. A wonderful and inimmitable artist, she was diagnosed with mental illness in 2006 and decided to live in isolation recording herself and everything around her resulting in the legendary series: 8 Rooms, 7 Mirrors, 6 Clocks, 2 Minds, a sincere description of herself and her situation, much like most of her sets or photographs taking in self confinement and institutions.
Her body of work is remarkable for her early death. I love how her personality and consistency as an artist still allowed her to create very ranged and rich photographs. Madness, a curse to her as a person, seemed to be a blessing to her as a photographer, because rarely do you see such emotion filled pictures. A beautiful writer she wrote a lot about the way she felt while taking each picture, and the agony of being “mad” is haunting every single one of her darkroom processed photographs. Unlike to many photographers, to Lauren her large format photography was a necessity rather than a fashion shoot or a depiction of beauty. Sometimes she actually needed to see things in pictures to know they are real.