John Simpson

John Simpson

After a sell out first show in 2007 newcomer Simpson’s career has skyrocketed, with exhibitions in London, New York and Sao Paulo. He was recently featured alongside Damien Hirst and Sir Peter Blake on Alan Yentob's BBC 1 arts series Imagine. Read more

Simpson was born in Gloucestershire in 1975. He first studied at the University of Gloucestershire and then at The Cambridge School of Art. Originally making an impact with illustrations for clothing brand Carhartt and collaborations with fashion designer Wale Adeyemi, Simpson had a sell out first show in 2007 and has since exhibited worldwide.

Drawing has always formed the basis Simpson’s work. Frequently referencing the world of folk tale and myth, Simpson explores the relationship between human and animal forms, resulting in powerfully poetic imagery that sits somewhere in between childhood imagination and adult reasoning.

When asked in interview which artist he would most like to meet, Simpson chose Goya, interestingly, for his ‘experience [as] a classical painter combined with the vision of a modern artist engaging with the world’; something similar could also be said of Simpson, whose ability to delicately capture the essence of the animals in his work can equally disturb and enchant. Almost always working with a simple monochrome pallet, Simpson occasionally interjects a sharp red into a piece in order to draw attention to something—possibly suggesting violence, power or danger.

Simpson’s preferred medium is Monotype, a process often recognized as the most direct and painterly form of printmaking. Working in this way, he believes, extends the possibilities of traditional drawing due to the sensitivity of the surface that the print is made from.

Simpson is unquestionably one to watch.