Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
So first off I love dogs, all kinds of them, I used to work at a kennel washing dogs as part of my preveterinary medicine classes I began taking (but obviously didn't continue as a career in are just made more sense). It made perfect sense to have a go at paintng my favorite French Bulldog of all time, Tango!
It was a great experience getting to paint a dog that I knew for once and had a sense of his personality.
Next I was able to work on a painting for Comedy Centrals recent South Park Show entitled "Kenny Angel". It was an honor being invited to be part of Ron English's selected artists for the show. I've looked up to the man for years and he is a true legend.
Growing up and being in high school in the early 90's I spent many a day lisening to Pearl Jam and Temple of the Dog on my walkman, so getting asked to do an Eddie Vedder tour poster was a no brainer, and I am so stoked to be a part of the artist roster including Jeff Soto, Munk One, and Roland Tamayo on this run.
And of course there was this piece which for me sums up a boyhood dream of mine to create a Watership Down piece. You know, I have been hiding "Inle" and 280 (the page in my copy of the book which tells the story of the black rabbit of Inle´) for years, probably from my early teens. Being able to curate this show and see a bunch of my favorite artists take on it was surreal and a memory I will get to hold onto for a long time.
With all of those pieces done months ago, I embarked on an ambitious body of work that is keeping me busy as usual and challenging at the same time. I am stoked to be teaming up with my friend Lola for this new exhibition and you'll have to stay tuned for more info on that ;)
but here are a couple teasers....
Stay well and God Bless,
Monday, March 28, 2011
Featured artists include: Ron English, Travis Louie, Colin Christian, Sas Christian, Beau Stanton, Kid Zoom, Dave White, KaNo, Kathie Olivas, Clark Fox, Greg 'Craola' Simkins, Mark Dean Veca, Lindsey Way, Naoto Hattori and Tristan Eaton.
Famed street artist and pop surrealist painter, Ron English, has hand-picked 14 artists who are drawn from the street and the pop surrealism movement to join him in displaying their South Park interpretations. The artists are unified by their love of the hit series and the passion they bring to their work. Their interpretations feature the South Park characters and the iconic moments throughout the series history.
115 Spring Street Street
New York, NY 10012
18 x 12 in.
Acrylic on canvas (framed)
Greg 'Craola' Simkins
Friday, March 25, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
The 15th Season Of South Park Premieres Wednesday, April 27 At 10 P.M.
From the Comedy Central Press Release:
NEW YORK, March 21, 2011 Kicking off "South Park's" 15th anniversary celebration, COMEDY CENTRAL and pop surrealist painter, Ron English, have joined forces to curate 15 Artists Interpret South Park at Opera Gallery New York beginning on Monday, March 28.
Famed street artist and pop surrealist painter, Ron English, has hand-picked 14 artists who are drawn from the street and the pop surrealism movement to join him in displaying their South Park interpretations. The artists are unified by their love of the hit series and the passion they bring to their work. Their interpretations feature the South Park characters and the iconic moments throughout the series history. The featured artists include: Ron English, Travis Louie, Colin Christian, Sas Christian, Beau Stanton, Kid Zoom, Dave White, KaNo, Kathie Olivas, Clark Fox, Greg Craola Simkins, Mark Dean Veca, Lindsey Way, Naoto Hattori and Tristan Eaton. The 15 Artists Interpret South Park exhibit will be on display at Opera Gallery New York beginning March 28 through April 10. Click here to read more.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Saturday, March 12, 2011
My painting The Elil and Fu Inle´
INLE artist, Matthew Bone and I in front of his amazing piece
"WD2: This Season The Rabbits Are Doing The Hunting"
A friend from Golden Apple Comics next door brought a special visitor by - the coolest black rabbit!
This guy came to my signing with Alex Pardee recently and let me draw on his leg...later it became a tattoo!
INLE artist, Misha is rockin her very own black rabbit of INLE in her hair and on her nails.
INLE artists Joe Capobianco and Carlos East of the Beast Brothers came in from New York for the show.
INLE artist, Jason Maloney.
I can't tell you how honored I was to have one of the most influential artists in my life, Axis , be part of the show. His theories on how to prepare surfaces and the proper paints to use and approach to a piece really got me headed in the right direction. Check Out his amazing piece titled:
"Nor Crown Nor Coin Can Halt Times Flight Or Stay The Armies Of The Night King And Villein, Lad And Lass, All Answer To The Hourglass."here and click on it for more info:
And now for the highlight of the night. Bill McEvoy and Greg Rodriguez stole the show with not only a great piece, but trust me, you have to see it in person. Take my word for it, go to the gallery, ask for a pair of the glasses that were left there for the piece and prepare to be amazed.
alright, get down to the gallery and see the show while it is up, you've got til the end of the month ;)
Friday, March 11, 2011
Greg 'Craola' Simkins
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
So a few years ago I had the pleasure of connecting with Chase Tafoya. He was working on a solo exhibition in which he was painting his artist peers as portraits. I was surprised and honored to learn that he was doing a painting of me for the show. I also was stoked to see all the "Watership Down" reference that he added to the piece. It was almost a premonition to this show so many years in the future.
You can see chases work in a variety of arenas, check out his website here and some of the paintings below. But what blows my mind is his superb mastery of acrylics which is the medium I use as well, but man for the life of me I can't get them to look like that! So I will be happy to sit back and enjoy the richly rendered blends and invite you to eavesdrop on a little conversation I recently had with Chase:
GS: Okay, so lets get the nitty gritty done, where are you from and when were you born. I know, pretty basic but a good place to start
CT: All good bro. I was born in the small town of Merced, California. I've lived allover the state, but have recently moved back. It's a good place to stay focused. I was born August 14, 1983
GS: I read in an interview that you started making art at an early age, around 3 or so like myself. Did you find that it was just something you've been gravitating to all your life and were your parents supportive?
CT: Yes sir. I started drawing at 3 and have been doing it everyday since... literally. That's cool you started at 3 also. I read that most creative types start at age 3. Pretty crazy.
GS: Yeah man, I am not trying to be the pushy father or anything, but I brought my 3 year old son into the studio this weekend, gave him a panel and some selected paints and brushes and let him go at it. He sat painting focused for a good hour. I've never seen him sit still for so long.
CT: Yes. I feel a desire to constantly create. I started painting at 17, and each piece I approach to evoke an emotion, or embed a message with. Its a feeling that I believe only another artist can relate to. My parents were very influential in my art. Growing up they got me those little wooden art briefcases, instead of toys, for Christmas. I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for their support.
Ha ha that's rad! I'm sure its encoded in your son to be an artist too. My mom and dad both painted, and they would sit with me for hours as we created art. My pops used to draw the Ratfink character, so that was the first thing I really knew how to draw. Good times are right around the corner for you and boy to create and do art together!
GS: That's Awesome your parents are artists too and so supportive. Pretty rad your dad exposed you to Rat Fink, I had to find out about him on my own. I was super stoked when you agreed to be in the show. I am also curious if you have an attachment to the story "Watership Down" previous to the invitation, which I think I know the answer to but just for our readers.
CT: Dude, It's an honor for me to be a part of it! I was stoked when I got the invitation. O yeah, I have a great attachment to the story. I grew up watching the movie, and later in my life I picked up the book. I love the hidden undertones, and symbology in it. I know it influenced my work, and its a story that was ahead of its time. As an artist, I'm constantly reminded to keep pushing the envelope and overcome my artistic struggles. A little deep, sorry. ha ha
GS: no, I agree the story is timeless and about pushing through oppression and defeating evil to just live a better life. The dark undertones grabbed my rebellious side as a kid which is why I was so interested in the character of The Black Rabbit of Inle´, but as I got older I realized that he just represented what was inevitable and really made me think what is on the other side of death.
CT: I greatly agree. Death will eventually come knocking, calling, or in this case.... hopping.
GS: Tell me about the piece you submitted for the show, It is a beautiful piece and I know you select your subjects for various reasons. Who is the model and how did it go selected the elements you wanted to include in the piece?
CT: Thanks man that means a lot. My piece is basically my version of the black rabbit of Inle, or "Death". Most cultures see Death as this skeletal type figure with a sickle, or an old man with a beard. As I started researching more, I found out that allover the world different cultures have a Death character, and some included women. A banshee in Irish Folklore is an example of this. The story goes, that the banshee disguises herself as a beautiful woman, and seduces you into getting close to her. As you approach, she takes your life. The model I used is Anita Varvatos, and I felt was the best example for conveying this. The butterflies that hover above her head, in my painting, are believed to be a persons soul in Japanese Mythology. So I saw this woman being surrounded by the souls she has collected. The crane is symbol for death in other cultures, so I added a crane with its wings fully spread and close to her, so she could appear to be an angel. More like the angel of death. In Watership Down, the black rabbit appears in the dark, when the moon is out, so I painted a dark cemetery background with a full moon. She also has tattoos on her hands of an hourglass, a sickle, and other symbols for death, or something coming to an end. She also wears rosary beads, with a lucky rabbits foot on the end. Perhaps a gook luck charm for herself?
GS: Wow, incredible research my friend on an incredible piece. Your attention to detail is phenomenal and it's a refreshing take on this theme. You all should do yourselves a favor and come down to Gallery 1988 Los Angeles this Friday night to see this piece by Chase Tafoya and so many more by your favorite artists from around the globe. Thanks for taking the time to chat with me Chase, I appreciate it.
CT: Anytime Greg. It was my pleasure. I want to say thank you again for letting me be a part of this amazing show. I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!
Well We'll see y'all Friday night at Gallery 1988 for "INLE". Don't miss this one.
(here's some more work by Chase:)
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
I've always admired Josh Keyes work as many of you have and am totally honored to have him as part of the "Inle´" exhibition. Here is some great coverage that Jensen at Gallery 1988 has on his blog about Josh's amazing contribution to the exhibition:
"Josh Keyes is one of those universally loved artists, and for good reason. I remember maybe 5 years ago, when LA Weekly had Josh do an illustration for their cover (CONGRATS to them, because they were EARLY!), and it absolutely stunned me. He was about to show at Fecal Face in SF, and it was obvious this guy's talent was going to end up on some serious walls. And it has. Words aren't going to help explain how beautiful this piece is, the picture above does that perfectly well for itself already. But here are some words directly from Josh Keyes about the acrylic on board piece -
"This was influenced partly by Richard Adams Plague Dogs as well as the Inle character from Watership Down.
The products depicted in the painting are made by companies that continue to test on laboratory animals including rabbits.
The crows are in the shape of Inle and I though Black Angels was fitting in that though the act and natural behavior of carrion birds and other scavenger animals is disturbing (to us) it is part of the natural cycle of life. I see the crows as an active agent of liberation, freeing the lab animals bodies from a life of torment and by consuming and breaking down the body the animal is absorbed into the energy of the life cycle."
Again, I won't be able to say something better than the piece does, or Josh did himself. Just wanted you to see it."
Thanks again Josh..
Also Stacy Ransom did an incredible write of the show up on her blog Ransom Notes. Click HERE to check it out!
Alright have a good week.