Greg Simkins

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Greg "Craola" Simkins
Greg 'CRAOLA' Simkins at Work.jpg
Born February 28, 1975
Torrance, California
Nationality American
Education California State University, Long Beach (BA, 1999)
Known for Painting, drawing, and graffiti
Movement Pop Surrealism
Website http://www.imscared.com

Greg "Craola" Simkins (born February 28, 1975) is an artist based in Torrance, California.

Education and early life[edit]

Greg Simkins was born in Torrance, California, slightly south of Los Angeles. His artistic ambitions bloomed as early as age three with drawings inspired by cartoons and books. Some of these works, such as The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, and Watership Down by Richard Adams, still find reference in his art.[1] He grew up with a variety of animals, including a number of rabbits, which often appear in his paintings to this day.[2]

Simkins earned his B.A. in Studio Art from California State University, Long Beach in 1999.[3]

Professional career[edit]

After graduating, Simkins went to work as an illustrator for several clothing firms before moving on to the video game industry, where he worked on games for Treyarch/Activision such as Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, [[Spider-Man 2 (video game) |Spider-Man 2]], and Ultimate Spider-Man.[4] With blessings from his former bosses at Activision, he made the leap to full-time artist in 2005. Since then his studio work has met with resounding acclaim and allowed him to branch out with his successful 2013 Kickstarter project, "'I'm Scared' A Stop-Motion Film from Greg 'Craola' Simkins",[5] which is still in development.

A commissioned mural at Reptile Finders, a store in the Los Angeles area.

Style[edit]

At the age of 18, Simkins began doing graffiti under the name “CRAOLA”. Graffiti drove his inspiration to create and gave him the confidence and experience to paint large scale works. It also taught him color theory and perspective while further developing his artistic skills, as later demonstrated in his masterful work with acrylics.[6]

Out of his love for the animal world he seeks to bring together unlikely camaraderies and conflicts from the landscape of his mind to the confines of canvas, paper, and walls. It is common to see deer with killer whales, puppies with crustacean pals, and birds sharing the air with rodents in his playfully ominous to ominously playful acrylic compositions informed by smooth, graffiti gradients and superbly balanced layouts that draw the eye deftly through complex story lines and rich little vignettes.[7]

"Good Knight" by Greg 'Craola' Simkins, acrylic on canvas wrapped panel, 72" x 96"

Exhibitions[edit]

Simkins' paintings have been featured in various narrative art exhibitions including the group shows "Suggestivism" at Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana,[8] "Family Guy!" at the Los Angeles Museum of TV & Radio, "Street Cred" at the Pasadena Museum of California Art, "Visionary Art" at Mondo Bizarro Gallery in Rome, "Art from the New World” at the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery in London,[9] “Sons of Baby Tattooville” at the Riverside Art Museum,[10] and recently, “MasterWorks: Defining A New Narrative” at the Long Beach Museum of Art.[9]

Simkins' solo shows include: "Good Knight", "Stop Haunting Me", and "Cloud Theory" at Merry Karnowsky Gallery in Los Angeles;[11] "Inside the Outside" at Joshua Liner Gallery in New York;[12] a two-person exhibit with Lola at Galerie d'Art Yves Laroche in Montreal; "The Pearl Thief” at Gallery Nineteen Eighty Eight in Los Angeles; "Seeing Things” at FIFTY24/SF Gallery in San Francisco;[13] "It Wanders West" at Gallery Nineteen Eighty Eight;[14] “It Wanders East” at Joshua Liner Gallery;[14] "The Well” at m modern Gallery in Palm Springs, CA;[15] “I’m Scared” at Gallery Nineteen Eighty Eight; “Don’t Sleep” at FIFTY24/SF Gallery;[16] and “Ima Monsta” at Gallery Nineteen Eighty Eight.

Simkins had his curatorial debut with "INLE" at Gallery Nineteen Eighty Eight in 2011, a show in which he also participated. The exhibit featured art inspired by the book Watership Down by over 100 artists.[17]

Other artists Greg has exhibited with include Todd Schorr, Mark Ryden, Shephard Fairey, Glenn Barr, Shag, Mike Shinoda Seen, Nathan Spoor, Eric White, Josh Keyes, Alex Gross, James Jean, and Esao Andrews.[8][9][10]

Film[edit]

"I'm Scared" is a stop-motion short film based on the artist's work. In collaboration with director Pete Levin, whose credits include IFC's Comedy Bang Bang and Cartoon Network's MAD, the team will be bringing Greg's world into the third dimension. There is no official release date at this stage, but a glimpse of the story has been revealed: "8-year-old insomniac Ralf describes to his little brother all of the dangers that lurk in the shadows, waiting to devour the two of them." The film was funded by a substantial Kickstarter project.[5]

Publications[edit]

By the artist:

Books
  • Simkins, Greg. (2013) The Outside. Presto Art. ISBN No. 978-0985063801[18]
  • Simkins, Greg. (2011) Drawn From the Well. Presto Art. ISBN No. 978-0982404737[19]

Works included:

Books
  • Spoor, Nathan. (2011) Suggestivism: A Comprehensive Survey of Contemporary Artists. Gingko Press. ISBN No. 978-1584234470[20]
  • Ziegler, Tina. (2010) Hunt & Gather. Mark Batty Publisher. ISBN No. 978-0981960036[21]
  • Beinart, Jon. (2007) Metamorphosis 2: 50 Contemporary Surreal, Fantastic, and Visionary Artists. BeinART Publishing. ISBN No. 978-0980323115[22]
  • Gibson, Jon M. and Klosterman, Chuck (2006) i am 8-bit: Art Inspired by Classic Videogames of the '80s. Chronicle Books. ISBN No. 978-0811853194[22]
  • Ganz, Nicholas & Manco, Tristan. (2004) Graffiti World: Street Art from Five Continents. Harry N. Abrams, Inc. ISBN No. 978-0810949799[23]
  • Smith, Kevin & Gallery 1988. (2011) Crazy 4 Cult: Cult Movie Art. Titan Books ISBN No. 978-0857681034[24]
  • Weber, Diana. (2009) Juxtapoz Dark Arts. Gingko Press ISBN No. 978-1584233619[25]
  • Owens, Annie. (2009) Hi-fructose Collected Edition. Last Gasp of San Francisco ISBN No. 978-0867197136[26]
  • Eaton, Tristan, and McCormick, Carlo. (2011) The 3D Art Book. Prestel USA ISBN No. 978-3791345499[27]
Magazines

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sunrise Artists Interview". Sunrise Artists. 20 July 2011. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "Inle Interview". Gallery 1988. 22 February 2011. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  3. ^ "Simkins CV". Joshua Liner Gallery. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "Artist's Page". Joshua Liner Gallery. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  5. ^ a b ""I'm Scared" Stop Motion Film Kickstarter". Kickstarter. 4 September 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "Fecal Face Interview". Fecal Face. 24 October 2007. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  7. ^ "Indigits Interview". Indigits. January 2011. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Suggestivism Exhibition in the OCWeekly". OCWeekly. 10 February 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c "Art from the New World at Bristol Museum". BBC. 1 April 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2012.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "New_World_Exhibition" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  10. ^ a b "Baby Tattooville Exhibition at Riverside Art Museum". Riverside Art Museum. September 2009. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  11. ^ "Cloud Theory Solo Exhibition at Merry Karnowsky Gallery". Juxtapoz. 20 April 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  12. ^ "Inside the Outside at Joshua Liner Gallery". Artnet. June 2009. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  13. ^ "Seeing Things at FIFTY24/SF Gallery". SFWeekly. 19 January 2009. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  14. ^ a b "It Wanders Exhibitions". Beinart. 29 August 2008. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  15. ^ "The Well Exhibition at m Modern Gallery". Vinyl Pulse. 16 March 2008. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  16. ^ "Don't Sleep at FIFTY24/SF Gallery". KQED. 20 February 2007. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  17. ^ "INLE Exhibition". Daily Dujour. 8 February 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2012. 
  18. ^ "The Outside". Presto Art. 4 May 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  19. ^ "Drawn From the Well". Presto Art. 25 September 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  20. ^ "Suggestivism: A Comprehensive Survey of Contemporary Artists". Gingko Press. 5 June 2011. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  21. ^ "Hunt & Gather". Mark Batty Publisher. 23 March 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  22. ^ a b "Metamorphosis 2: 50 Contemporary Surreal, Fantastic, and Visionary Artists". BeinART Publishing. 23 December 2008. Retrieved 23 June 2012.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Metamorphosis" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  23. ^ "Graffiti World: Street Art from Five Continents". Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 26 October 2004. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  24. ^ "Crazy 4 Cult: Cult Movie Art". Titan Books. 21 June 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  25. ^ "Juxtapoz Dark Arts". Gingko Press. 6 November 2009. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  26. ^ "Hi-fructose Collected Edition". Last Gasp of San Francisco. 1 June 2009. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  27. ^ "The 3D Art Book". Prestel USA. 1 April 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2012. 
  28. ^ "Juxtapoz #117 cover art". Juxtapoz. October 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  29. ^ "Hi-Fructose #14 cover art". OuchFactory YumClub. January 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  30. ^ "BLISSS Magazine cover art". Blisss Magazine. December 2008. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  31. ^ "Paper Magazine". Paper Publishing Company. November 2008. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  32. ^ "dpi Magazine cover art". Design Popular Imagination. March 2008. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  33. ^ "GEEK Magazine". GEEK.com. December 2006. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  34. ^ "Art Calendar cover art". Turnstile Publishing Company. October 2009. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  35. ^ "American Art Collector". American Art Collector. April 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 

External links[edit]