ABOUT

Simkins works in painting, collage and interactive performance.



Throughout his work he rearranges images to create fictional narratives.



By interweaving stories and fabricating new narratives, his work dissects, reenacts and comments on society’s attitudes towards fact and fiction.



Meanwhile, his performances interrogate how these attitudes affect

human interaction.

PAINTINGS


Although Simkins' practice involves many different mediums, painting is the constant element that channels the artist’s narrative.


Using a large lexicon of imageries and iconographies, Simkins begins by collaging together photographs from online profiles to evoke fictional scenarios. He employs humour, irony, chaos and chance to create works that explore the idea of representation at its boundaries, where the gaze becomes confused, suspended between fiction and reality, where interpretation plays a fundamental role. 


Interpretation is indeed an important facet of Simkins’ work. Our ‘fake news’ society blurs the lines between fiction and reality. Simkins’ theatrical constructions, painted with a rich-hued palette and interchanging between thin layers and thick impasto, attempt to depict the myths of this online existence, if it is at all possible.


Often appearing in his works are subtle messages for humanity. His compositions and his characters occasionally seek to reflect societal truths (We Are All Onesie Beasts), the “Nature-Morte” series raises awareness of the fight against climate change, and his use of cut-up failed paintings promotes renewal and recycling.


In the interactive performance Dance and Draw, Simkins shares his process with the public and asks the audience to make their own marks. Just as before, each mark the audience makes becomes a reinterpretation of an original event. Slowly but surely, with a few surprises included, the artist and his audience layer line upon line to create a new narrative.

HEADS

Simkins' collaged heads study human behaviour, in particular the way in which we interpret one another. 

Often large in size, the Heads seek to reflect a sense of the divine, they aim to glorify the individual. However, made from cut, torn and recycled canvas, they also portray the subject's transience and fragility. 

The inspiration for the work originally came from a meeting with the athlete Oscar Pistorius, whom the artist met and painted in 2011, and the subsequent fall from grace of the Paralympian. The experience made the artist consider issues of morality, celebrity and human fragility, as well as the hypothesis that greatness is ultimately flawed.


With the representation feeling easily disposable, Simkins hands the onus over to the public in his interactive performance Three Heads. The artist asks the public to tear the Heads apart and then reconstruct them as they so wish. 




Throughout both performances, Simkins is able to place the public within the concept itself by asking his audiences to recreate their own metaphorical actions into physical ones. In studying how our society is becoming more individualistic, Simkins manages to bring people closer together.