?UESTIONS: Rich Simmons

Poignant, witty, striking and refreshing. Rich Simmons creates art that captures the golden age of comics, fusing the imagery with contemporary topics.

A subtle beauty, with a powerful message! Go check him out - richsimmonsart.com

Your work is humorous whilst conveying a serious message, what do you wish to represent? I think its important to show depth in my art, just as there’s different layers within my personality. I love to tell stories and touch on interesting subject matters but sometimes a piece needs a more serious touch, and others a more light hearted feel. The job of an artist is to evoke different emotions in people and I want to be a catalyst for a broad spectrum of different reactions with different pieces.

It would get pretty boring if all the work looked the same and had the same emotions attached to it. Got to be tactful and approach different things with different sensitivities and attitudes and still try and create something with substance that creates an emotion or discussion at the end.

Who are you influences? My biggest influence from a creative viewpoint is Leonardo da Vinci. I love that he was so insatiably curious, inventive and passionate about so many things. He was an artist, an engineer, a designer, an inventor, a scientist, mathematician and everything in between.

I never want to just be stuck in the art box. I have so many passions I want to explore and creative releases waiting to be showcased and I try and take that renaissance approach to my life and work too.

I’ve just written my first book, I’ve got my Art Is The Cure project to promote creative therapy and mental health awareness and I’m also developing a technology project so I like to use my mind and curiosity in a lot of ways too.

Is there a piece of art you have created that is particularly special to you, and why? Picking a favourite piece of art is like picking a favourite child, everyone has a favourite but it would be wrong to pick just one. I love the reflections girls and how that style allows me to create narratives and put spotlights on different things. It adds a human connection by experiencing something through someone else and feeling their emotions whilst seeing what they are.

I loved the impact my superman kissing batman ‘between the capes’ piece had and how it opened discussions about gay equality and what it takes to be a hero in society. That piece opened so many doors to me, from my first museum show including that piece to Warner brothers reaching out and getting to meet the actors who play superman and batman.