Thursday, January 10, 2008

research on the spiritual and the sublime

J. Michael Simpson

Excerpt from Simpson's artist statement:

As a child growing up in the flatlands of Illinois, I could step outside my door and walk straight across five miles of fields and woods Something I did just to see what I could see. I realize now how important experiencing that kind of freedom and wonder was to me. Only after two graduate degrees and many years of teaching did I realize that my search for artistic identity was embedded in those moments of childhood curiosity and discovery. The connection was the Sublime; that eighteenth century aesthetic and human experience that, whether in art or life, can fill our imaginations with awe, wonder and inspiration. My understanding of the visual conditions of the Sublime provided an artistic path that gave meaning and purpose to those overwhelming experineces of life that now serve as the content of my art.

Painting from "Projection" series

J. Michael Simpson

Though I never had the opportunity to take one of Mr. Simpson's classes I did have the good fortune of having him sit in on and participate in critiques of my drawings in grad school. And while he doesnt realize it, he taught me something about the idea of being "true" in my approach to creating artwork. The feeling you get from viewing his paintings is the same feeling you get from speaking to him in person. There's a drive, a passion, and a geniune excitement there. He's not trying to fool you or shock you with his painting - he's just trying to give you a brief glimpse of how he sees the world we share.
There's a solo show of his work now at City Art Gallery 1224, Lincoln St, Columbia, SC 29201
J. Michael Simpson

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