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.
Its incredible how a piece of art, a stencil and some spray paint that I created in my studio, can have such global implications and allow me to travel the world, meet amazing people and leave my mark in a small way on the history of art and culture.
What impact would you like to make on the world? I want to be more than just an artist. With my Art Is The Cure project, I’m trying to put a spotlight on mental health through creative therapy and inspire people to use art in new ways to find healthy releases. I want to take my story telling passions I developed through art and release books and comics in the future in ways that I wouldn’t be able to do with just a painting.
I have a lot of other goals to connect the creative industry, inspire hope and change and make people smile along the way. I may never go down in history books next to da Vinci, but if I can have a small impact in different ways then I would consider that a legacy worth leaving when I’m done.
All images by and courtesy of Rich Simmons
Art for sale: store
Art Is The Cure: @artisthecureorg