Hi-Fructose Vol. 14 cover artist Greg “Craola” Simkins, featured here on our blog, pulls ideas from his childhood- his favorite cartoons, old comics, and vintage packaging- and ties it all together to create art that gives a feeling of being a kid again. The Los Angeles based artist has said that his journey to being an artist began with drawing on the wall after everyone would go to sleep, and his dreams of things that go bump in the night continue to inform his surrealistic works.
Greg ‘Craola’ Simkin’s childhood memories have long played an important role and inspiration for his artwork. The playfulness of being a child comes together with creatures of the natural world in his mythical landscapes. He calls this world “the Outside”, a place where the impossible becomes possible, and a cast of anthropomorphized animals set out on bizarre adventures. Simkins expands on this world in his upcoming solo exhibition, “Where Am I?” at KP Project/MKG, opening Saturday.
On Saturday at Merry Karnowsky gallery, Greg ‘Craola’ Simkins fell down the rabbit hole into a dreamland championed by the “Good Knight”. His latest exhibition (previewed here) shows us a strange and beautiful world where good and evil coexists as armies of decadent animal soldiers. Simkins was inspired by the memory of his parents wishing him “good night” and the elaborate visions that would follow. Take a look at our opening night photos after the jump.
Filled with rich, saturated colors, Greg “Craola” Simkins’s paintings present playful scenarios inspired by the natural world. Regal-looking birds, foxes and even hammer head shark enact allegorical dramas. The paintings play out like Shakespearean comedies: A sense of whimsical humor pervades the work, yet the characters’ elaborate costuming suggests that these are no ordinary creatures we are observing. The anthropomorphized animals appear to belong to an old world social order. One can’t help but attempt to deduce a commentary on the ways that power plays out our own society, but perhaps staring at the masterfully-painted feathers and fins is enough. Fittingly, Craola’s upcoming show at Merry Karnowsky Gallery in LA, opening May 17, is titled “Good Knight.” Take a look out our sneak peek of the show below, photos courtesy of Carlos Gonzalez aka Theonepointeight.
Greg “Craola” Simkins recently opened a solo show at Los Angeles’ Merry Karnowsky Gallery titled “Stop Haunting Me.” An introspective body of work, “Stop Haunting Me” looks back on the life choices Simkins made to set himself on his path as a fine artist, starting with his first graffiti piece under his moniker, “Craola,” when he was a teenager. A hallmark of his painting style, many of the paintings conceal the letters of his name amid allegorical scenes enacted by anthropomorphized animals. Take a look at some photos from the opening night of “Stop Haunting Me” courtesy of Theonepointeight after the jump and see the show on view through May 4.