“All great art is the work of the whole living creature, body and soul, and chiefly the soul,” John Ruskin says in
The Stones of Venice. It is the inspiration of the artist’s knowledge and emotion that breathes life into ink,
paper and other media. Without it, art ceases to be anything more than pure decoration. Aesthetic, emotional
or spiritual value derived from art results from self-discovery. This is the true nature of art; Rick Simpson’s art
embodies the essence of this philosophy.
Based in Manila, The Philippines, Rick is a member of several international artist groups and galleries, including The Tin-Aw Gallery in
Makati City (Manila), The Saatchi Art Gallery and The Society for Art of Imagination, both in London, and The Museum of Computer Art in New York City.
As a painter, he was accepted into the Parsons School of Design in Paris. The uniqueness of his work has been widely recognized internationally by
well-regarded artists groups. His chosen genre is primarily Fantastic Realism, a movement begun in Austria in 1948.
Rick’s work is primarily intuitive, characterized by innovation and experimentation. He “invents” and portrays imaginary
objects and figures not seen in reality. To give life to his creations, he draws from both representational and
nonobjective genre. The resulting works contrast images of fantasy and beauty, darkness and humor. The individual
viewer’s vision, imagination, and experiences shape the interpretation of each image. Rick’s themes involve deeply
personal and current social issues, but also include whimsical and interpretive elements from nature, both
real and imagined.
Rick received his Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking at the University of Oregon, where he taught lithography for
three years. His work is greatly influenced by a 12-year residence and many later journeys around Europe, where he
absorbed artistic genres from contemporary abstract expressionism to Old Masters. Many years living and traveling
in the Middle East and Asia expanded his aesthetic horizons. Internationally, he has shown his work in Vancouver,
Los Angeles, Portland, Chicago, New York, London, Berlin and Paris and Manila. His exhibitions have included lithographs,
etchings, woodcut prints and digital works. His background in watercolor and oil painting enhances the distinctiveness
of his digital works.
Original digital imagery is not the reproduction of artwork created in other media. Each image is created, layer
upon layer, on a blank “digital canvas,” using techniques akin to those used in other media such as painting or
drawing. However, in the digital realm, the variety and capability of painting and drawing utensils is virtually
unconstrained, giving the digital process an unprecedented flexibility lacking in the world of traditional media.
Virtual digital processes correlate directly to traditional brushes, pencils, oil pastels, charcoal and
other “real” media. The major departure is the absence of limits, such as those imposed by inks and paints
drying quickly. Digital printmaking frees artists to focus on the image, rather than the possible toxicity of solvents
and pigments, the day-to-day physical wear and tear of wrestling 50-lb lithographic
stones or the long-term damage to lungs from the fumes of an acid bath.
These digital works are printed in limited editions similar to traditional lithographs and etchings.
Each is printed on museum-quality, archival paper using pigment-based inks.