Xaviera Simmons (born 1974) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Simmons graduated from Bard College with a B.F.A. in photography and later completed the Whitney Museum Independent study program in 2005. Simmons’ work ranges from photography to theater pieces to performance art, film, sculpture, and installations. Music plays an integral role in her work and installation art. For New York City’s Art in General gallery, Simmons created a display that incorporated classic jazz albums artfully arranged along the gallery walls, meant to engage and educate an audience in an instant. Later, she revisited this inspiration, creating a similar installation using hip-hop album covers and video footage.
As a photographer, Simmons’ work has been compared to imagistic theater, where stories and performances are captured within a series of striking photographs. These photographs explore the intersections of fiction and reality, the surreal and the real, and individualism within the archetypal subject. Xaviera Simmons’ work has been exhibited at the Nicole Klagsburn Gallery, The Goethe Institute Studio Museum, and the Art in General gallery in New York. She is also the winner of the 2008 David C. Driskell Prize.