SAVE THE DATE: “The Escape Artist,” a Solo Exhibition by Greg “Craola ” Simkins at KP Projects – Saturday May 19th
For his 7th solo show at KP Projects, LA-based artist Greg “Craola” Simkins addresses the notion of “what if?” and make-believe in his signature pop-surreal fashion in this solo exhibit entitled “The Escape Artist.” Intricate details are lushly created from his insanely creative imagination, luring the viewer into his fantasy world of odd animals in even odder situations. Rich depth of color, extraordinary painting skill, and a sense of whimsy in his subject matter continue to delight and surprise.
This exhibit draws its’ name from one particular piece that sets the tone for the balance of the exhibit – a boatload of curious creatures seemingly on a sea voyage or some kind of nautical adventure. With his knack for storytelling, it is easy to get lost in one of his works, taking a trip in the grip of an octopus, and letting your own imagination escape for a brief respite to the fantasyland of the subconscious. This is all part of the artist’s plan…
“I have been taking refuge in my memories lately. Memories of the first time I saw a whale in the wild, seeing a meteor shower, and of all the daydreams that kept my wandering mind entertained as a child. Memories like these have become part of my subconscious, and reinvigorate me each time I sit down to sketch out an idea for a painting. These memories are a lifeline inviting me to climb down a portal into another world, where I get to escape daily by just picking up a brush. I truly do experience this escape each time I paint. It has become a therapy that reminds me that imaginations are real, and sharing my creativity visually is a healthy way of expressing that gift. I feel the most comfortable when I get lost in a piece, always leaving room for spontaneous ideas to pop into place as the story unfolds. I am “The Escape Artist” in this instance, and my new collection of works take you on a journey through the rabbit holes I venture down as I draw and paint. What better escape could there be, than to hop on the back of a bird and fly off into other worlds?” – Greg CRAOLA Simkins
Greg Simkins was born in 1975 in Torrance California, growing up with a variety of animals including a number of rabbits, which often appear in his work. He often wondered what it would be like if all the animals could meet and interact with each other in a friendly manner, which explains the odd assortment of creatures in many of his paintings. He began drawing at the early age of three and was inspired by various cartoons and books including Watership Down by Richard Adams, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster.
When he was 18, Simkins started doing graffiti under the pseudonym “CRAOLA, soon gaining recognition for his unique graffiti style and his own cast of disparate characters. In 2005 he decided to paint full-time, and it has been full-steam ahead on a vessel of his own design since that moment. Simkins’ artwork has been exhibited widely in galleries and museums around the world, and he maintains a significant celebrity following.
“The Escape Artist” by Greg “Carola’ Simkins
Mat 19 – June 16
Opening Reception: ( RSVP Mandatory)
May 19 (7pm – 10pm)
KP Projects Gallery
170 S. La Brea Avenues
(in the ART 170 Building)