RIGHT ON WRITERS BLOCK:
THE HAUNTINGLY BEAUTIFUL PAINTINGS OF PEPIJN SIMON
There's a wonderful artist whose work stirs all kinds of emotions within me. His name is Pepijn Simon and he's from the Netherlands. Simon turned to photography as a means to escape his turbulent childhood, but he quickly switched to painting.
What's amazing about his work is that he doesn't use a paintbrush. He uses old twisted credit cards. According to www.monsterchildren.com, "He begins with a black painted canvas and paints while it’s still wet. He applies the white paint without any sketching or use of photographs."
This guy is up there with the greats.
I can't wait for his work to be featured in the United States.
COLIDE ART AND CULTURE:
Pepijn Simon, born 1967 in the Netherlands. Was five years old when his teacher had his class listen to music while painting, and he distinctly remembers thinking it was the most important lesson of his life.
The rest of school, he says, wasn’t as inspiring.
Naturally, he pursued art, and most recently, paint has served as his weapon of choice.
Simon grew up in the Netherlands without a father, and with a mother who was somewhat aloof. He turned to art in order to foster his own safe haven.
At a young age, he got the hell out of Dodge to pursue photography and attend Fotoacademie Amsterdam. Soon, however, photography started to feel limiting, so he began to paint. And went to the art academy.
This summer, 2015, he is sharing his paintings for the first time.
These paintings began as an experiment to see how much one can eliminate from the face without losing recognition. “We are all programmed to see faces and to recognize emotion in them. There is ultimately a combination between realism and abstraction that is needed to portray an emotion”, he says. A friend in art school noticed a face in a painting and this inspired the work. He had what Simon describes as “a certain look in his eyes.” He says, “I didn’t pay much attention to it. Years later, I painted this series of portraits, and I finally understand that look.” It is clear that these are human figures, but everybody is going to see the characters differently.
Simon paints without the use of any brushes. In fact, he is using old twisted credit cards. He begins with a black painted canvas and paints while it’s still wet. He applies the white paint without any sketching or use of photographs. “I try to catch the person who reveals himself in the paint at that moment. This goes very fast. Shortly afterwards, I decide, while the paint is still wet, if it can stay or not. If not, then I start the process again.” For Simon, the dark paintings are an expression of miscommunication between people and the reflected emotions.
Text by Sarah Wasko, Monsterchildren
TENEBRISM LIVES ON THROUGH THE POWERFUL ABSTRACTION OF PEPIJN SIMON
The Tenebrist works of 17th century Italian and Spanish masters live on through the dark and sometimes disturbing work of Pepjin Simon, the Netherlands-born artist who has only recently started sharing his paintings with the world.
Born in 1967, Simon attended the Fotoacademie Amsterdam, but soon felt constrained by photography and moved towards painting in search of greater artistic expression.
With the black paint of the background still wet, Simon uses old credit cards rather than brushes to craft powerful images, exploring how far he can go in eliminating details from the face without losing recognition. These barely recognisable faces are are born of a clash between realism and abstraction. He applies the white paint to his black backgrounds without sketches or photographs in order to catch the emotions of his subject in that moment. That, says Simon, is how he conveys emotion in his work.
Born from the 1967 Netherlands cradle of artists, felt those emotions that often lead to a call as early as the age of 5. He turned to art in order to foster his own safe haven. Simon knew rapidly that each emotion is a fusion of realism and abstraction, from which that instant becomes portrayed by it through the hands of the artist that vehicles them. Simon paints without the use of any brushes. In fact, he is using old twisted credit cards as a kind of vehicle to lay down the vision; the sketch if you will. Particularly because he paints from a felt emotion, the process is very fast, revealing the characters shortly thereafter, which he then accents while the paint is still wet; deciding what can stay and what is superfluous to “the message” he pursues. Some may look at his work and feel it very “Bacon”, very “Velázquez” and therefore very influenced. Now, the lest we forget, most great Masters, never shied away from copying ‘miles’ of existing works prior to let their voice render there more personal message. What counts is the force within how these influences are rendered. The result is striking; the artist worth watching.
ART Habens Contemporary Art Review.