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.
Shadows and light in particular are used to give a more dramatic, amplified effect to Simkin’s wacky dreamscapes, where imaginary animals and other colorful characters rule. In his new body of work titled “Beyond Shadows”, these range from his own creations of exotic flora and fauna hybrids, like photo-realistic killer whales and blue jays, a tattooed lemon-octopus, to more recognizable characters from Pop-culture, like “No Face”, a character in Hayao Miyazaki’s animated film, Spirited Away.
Simkins shares: “My artistic journey began as a child daydreaming and creating strange realms where anything was possible. It later turned into going on adventures, writing on walls in the shadows of night. What if those walls began to crumble? What would we encounter as we emerge on the other side? Would it be lands full of flying fish, giant birds, and Noble Knights? Would I belong or fit in? Journey with me over the wall as we discover what lies beyond the shadows.” The exhibit will open at KP Projects/MKG in Los Angeles on May 21st, 2016.
You can also catch Greg ‘Craola’ Simkins in Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose Exhibition, opening this weekend at Virginia MOCA.