Patrick Simkins is a London based mixed media, performance and installation artist. Graduating from Coventry University in 2008 with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art and Illustration he is currently represented by DegreeArt. In fact Coventry University used Patrick Simkins for their intake marketing campaign in 2013. Patrick had great advertising as he appeared in adverts all over the London tube escalators. Check out a video of a very young artist in the making on the link above.
A finalist in the National Open Art Competition in 2009 and 2010 Patrick Simkins has also had the honour of being a BT Storyteller for the London Olympics and Paralympics. Chosen as one of a hundred creatives from across the UK to document the 2012 games in a variety of media.
Throughout 2011/2012 Patrick Simkins had the challenge of portraying the games through his work. Patrick met and interviewed top athletes and then subsequently wrote articles, produced portraits and animations of the work in progress. A great accolade for him so early on in his career.
Founded in 2011 by Rebecca Molloy Repre is a group of ten artists. They share a common aim of exploring and capturing our perception of reality relating to issues of mass media, image and celebrity. As an art group they aim to push the boundaries of reality. Patrick and the artists of Repre took part in a residency at the DegreeArt Gallery in 2013 and have held exhibitions, life drawing classes and panel discussions.
Is There A Dominating Theme Within Patrick Simkins’ Work?
This subject matter continues as the main thread throughout Patrick Simkins’ work. Patrick is concerned with the distorted values we place on each other and how we ultimately relate to each other in an increasingly superficial and online world. Patrick aims to illustrate misconceptions, how easily we place others on a pedestal and how quickly we can tear them down. During the Olympics Patrick met and painted the athlete Oscar Pistorius. The current trial of this high profile athlete illustrates this idea as does the recent Max Clifford trial. Patrick would like the public to understand the role we all play, consciously or not, in partnership with the media.
During the Repre DegreeArt residency Patrick Simkins asked the public to deconstruct three of his collaged heads to highlight human fragility and how disposable greatness is. They were then asked to rebuild two as they wished. This interactive piece successfully illustrated the idea of how we perceive others and questions how we view celebrity. The “THREE HEADS” project was a huge success.
How Would You Describe Patrick Simkins’ Paintings?
Patrick Simkins’ paintings highlight the rich quality of oil paint. His best known works are obscured views of London.
He works quickly dragging and smearing the oil paint across the canvas while traditional forms are painted in an unconventional semi-abstract way. The layers are built up into an impasto finish.
When viewing the finished piece, various forms emerge on each glance and gradually, scenes start to appear as the energy of the city comes to life.
Patrick’s paintings are spontaneous, dynamic and full of movement. You can find Patrick’s work in private and public collections in the UK, Spain, Italy, Finland and Australia.
Patrick Simkins kindly spared some time to answer a few questions:
Which living/non-living artist would you like to have a cold beer/coffee with?
Albert Oehlen – I love his work, a real painter as well as a revolutionary in the medium. I imagine the conversation could go anywhere with him.
Jackson Pollock – Exactly the same reasons as above. I think he’d like the beer more than the coffee!
If you could show your work anywhere, on anything where would it be?
I would love to exhibit on a high-rise building in a big city somewhere in the world. A projection or an installation. Something that people can become involved in and feel a part of. Similar to my interactive installation piece but bigger.
What’s in your art kit?
All types of paint, predominantly oil, with both liquin thinner and impasto. I tend to work quickly so whether I’m working thick or thin, the paint needs to dry ready for the next day. It’s particularly important now as I’m trying to achieve a mad spontaneity in the paintings.
Which sketchbooks do you use and why?
I’m not a big user of sketchbooks, I tend to use paper cut from a Fabriano rule. I think it’s because I don’t like the idea of edges when I sketch so there’s always a chance I can extend them.
Is there an art product you could not do without?
A bit of an odd one but when I work with my ‘Heads’ it’s definitely pins. I need to pin the canvas pieces to the wall and then be able to move each piece around several times after that. I’ve developed a technique to hold several pins at a time, but I would definitely not suggest trying it, or working barefoot!
Are there any art materials you would like to try?
What are you working on at the moment and hoping to achieve this year?
I’m working on a new series of oil on canvas paintings. They’re exploring how we respond to imagery through social media, how social media might be a loss to communication, as well as its trustworthiness. It’s all mixed up with the act of painting. I’m working on a series now and my hope is to have a show with them within the year.
Are you entering any open submissions, awards & art fairs this year?
I’ve taken a step back from those over the last year to focus on producing the new work. I think it’s easy to get pulled into those and not let the work develop. It can sometimes feel like you’re working on a conveyer belt otherwise. Having said that, there is an exciting prospect in the pipeline to present a new interactive installation in an art fair later this year. And once this new series is done I’m sure I will be entering more competitions.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
Never release a piece of work until you are absolutely happy with it. I was told that at 18 and have never forgotten it.
What is your most notable achievement to date?
I’m so happy with my recent video piece. More for the fact that it was a completely new medium to me. Also the fact that it was interactive. I can’t explain the feeling I had seeing people physically involved in a piece of my work – friends, family and complete strangers – and really responding to it as well. We were doing it on Vyner Street and the buzz around the piece was incredible.
What would your dream project be?
I have an idea for a show that would involve all kinds of interactive pieces, which comment on how we live our lives online. It would be completely collaborative and involve all kinds of interesting technology. It’s something I want to start after this latest painting series and would be a nice follow up to the current ideas.
Thanks to Patrick for his time and yes he should try oil bars. They are for want of a better word yummy!
Get your Oil Painting Materials at Pullingers Art Shop. We stock favourite brands including Winsor & Newton and Old Holland. If like Patrick, you paint heavily and thickly the Winton Oil Paint range of 200ml tubes are great value for money!
To see more of Patrick Simkins Artwork go to http://www.psimkinsart.co.uk/
Keep up to date with Patrick:
Where Can I See Patrick Simkins’ Artwork In The Flesh?
Patrick will be collaborating with French music producer MiM on an interactive performance DJ set. If you happen to be in Paris on the 29th May 2014 then pop along to see him.
“The performance in Paris is at an event called Le Premier Fois. It’s an experimental event where upcoming artists try something they’ve never done before. I’ve decided to do a painting performance for it in the theme of what I’m working on at the moment.”
Patrick will be taking part in the ASC Open Studios on the 7th– 8th June 2014.
The KAOS Open Studios Art Trail is also taking place on the 7th– 8th June. Look at their website for further details.
Group show with KAOS members in Oldenburg, Germany.
Group show, New York with Repre.
Where Can I Buy Patrick Simkins’ Artwork?
Patrick has shown his cityscapes with a number of London-based galleries…
“but my work over the last few years has taken me in a different direction and I’m excited by the possibilities that they might provide. Representation for these will follow.”
Oooh watch this space!