Taryn Simon on photography in a digital world

Credit: The Picture Collection - Folder: Beards& mustaches via Wallpaper Amateur Photographer

American artist-photographer Taryn Simon explains how her work is inspired both by the analogue and the digital


Taryn Simon is a photographer and artist whose work has been exhibited across the world in a number of prestigious galleries.

It has been shown at the Tate Modern, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris to name but a few.

She is known for mixing her photography with other disciplines to create unique art installations and exhibitions.

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In a guest editorial piece for our sister site Wallpaper, she wrote about some of the main inspirations for her photography.

In the article, she covers how she uses digital resources alongside the traditional analogue and static display of the New York Library picture collection to influence her.

Credit: Taryn Simon, via Wallpaper Amateur Photographer

The New York Public Library

The library has housed 1.2 million prints, postcards and images clipped from books and magazine under 12,000 subject headings.

Since its establishment in 1915, it has inspired a number of photographers and artists with any members with a library card able to borrow up to 60 clippings.

Simon writes and showcases some of the images that inspired her work on the Wallpaper website.

Take a look at the images that inspire Taryn Simon in her editorial for Wallpaper at wallpaper.com/guest-editor/taryn-simon.

Image atlas

Simon’s work often probes and looks at different cultures around the world.

To explore this she created something called the Image Atlas with programmer Aaron Swartz. This photo hub categorises cultural differences and similarities by indexing top image results from local search engines.

Her current UK show is An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamilar at the Tate Modern in London, which is on display until December 1, 2017.

You can look back through Wallpaper’s curated collection of 21 guest editors on their dedicated editors hub here. It covers editorials from photographer and filmmaker David Lynch to artist and photographer Laurie Simmons.

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