PRIMARY GENRE: FANTASTIC REALISM
Great art is the work of the entire being, body and soul. It is the inspiration of the artist's knowledge and emotion that breathes life into ink, paper and other media. Without it, art ceases to be anything more than decoration. Aesthetic, emotional or spiritual value derived from art results from self-discovery. This is the essence of my artwork and philosophy. My artwork is primarily intuitive, characterized by innovation and experimentation. My themes involve personal and current social issues, but also include whimsical and interpretive elements from nature, both real and imagined.
I draw from my subconscious to express myself in dreamlike images emerging from a stream of consciousness.
I received my Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking at the University of Oregon in 1993, where I taught lithography for three years as a Graduate Teaching Fellow. My primary genre is Fantastic Realism, a movement begun in Austria in 1948. It combines the imagination of Surrealism and the painterly aspects of The Old Masters. My artwork is greatly influenced by a 12-year residence in Europe, where I absorbed artistic genres from contemporary abstract expressionism to Old Masters. Also, many years living and traveling in the Middle East and Asia expanded my exposure to international art movements.
I have been using PhotoPaint for more than 20 years to create my artwork. I don't use photo manipulation or a copy/paste technique; each part of an image is originally painted with a brush tool. I have a large library of self-created images that I can draw from so I don't have to 'reinvent the wheel' for each new image. Each image is printed using the giclée method, with archival paper and inks. My finished works are mounted on board and glazed with acrylic gel. This gives them the appearance of oil paintings.
"All great art is the work of the whole living creature, body and soul, and chiefly the soul," John Ruskin says in "The Stones of Venice."
It is the inspiration of the artist's knowledge and emotion that breathes life into ink, paper and other media. Without it, art ceases to be anything more than pure decoration. Aesthetic, emotional or spiritual value derived from art results from self-discovery. For Rick Simpson, this process is purely intuitive, not planned in advance. His imagery comes from visions and dreams. He draws from his subconscious to express himself in dreamlike images emerging from a stream of unconsciousness.
Fantastic Realism, as an Art Movement, involves imagery that combines the painterly techniques of the Old Masters' realism with religious and esoteric symbolism and metaphors.
Rick Simpson's AutoGallery exhibit
Rick Simpson's website