It was over a year ago that I made the first of my many journeys to Gallery 1988 Los Angeles to view Greg Simkins’ previous series of work, “The Pearl Thief.” The pieces that that I saw then were some of the first of the artist’s dream-centered paintings and sketches: entire stories and scenes emerging from mysterious shadowy places (the recesses of his mind perhaps?)
His latest series, “Story Teller” bases itself within this original narrative, seemingly as if a sequel has been manifested in his paintings through which the story of “The Pearl Thief”, continues on… Simkins’ characters and colors play immensely well together to create a world of intrigue and whimsy, leaving it up to the viewers to connect and form a relationship with the work…. which most appeared to be doing so.
The work in “Story Teller” is a collection of immense acrylic paintings, torn sheets from his sketchbooks, and mixed media pieces, leaving almost every viewer in the gallery to appear to be saturated in each creation. I think that this could be the thing I enjoyed most about the show, how respectful and reverent the fans were to the work as they became engulfed in the different aspects of each piece that they were drawn to. This of course allowed for a very pleasant, albeit crowded, experience.
The environment was welcoming; people of similar and different interests find common ground in their admiration of Simkins’ work. The signing of his new book “Drawn from the Well” seemed to be a main highlight of the evening. With a line out the door and down the block for hours, it was clear that many-a-devotee had flocked for a glimpse of Simkins’ ever fascinating new pieces and a chance to simply shake hands with the man.
Overall “Story Teller” (like always) was a step into Simkins’ dreamland, never knowing what could be lurking around the next corner or, in this case, the next work of art. A combination of incredible paintings and drawings, the abundance of people who enjoy them, and great background music made for a wonderful show and of course, left all hoping to come back soon for more.