painting

Greg Simkins

United States 1975

Graffiti, Pop Surrealism

www.imscared.com

Greg Simkins
Greg Simkins
Male
United States
1975
March 26, 2016
Alias of Jasmina Sevic, a researcher and author for Widewalls. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science (Department for Journalism) in Belgrade in 2013.

As we grow older, it seems that most of us lose our childishness – we become more mature and less capable of being spontaneous, unselfconscious and cheerful. All those fascinating creatures who lived only in our imagination disappear and we are forced to get into the world of adults. However, there are still people who didn’t lose much of the childhood fascination for excitement and curiosities. One of them definitely is the American painter, graffiti artist, and illustrator Greg Simkins, also known as Craola. Born in 1975 in Torrance, an affluent city in the South Bay region of Los Angeles County in California, Craola makes artworks that take us into the worlds that we, unfortunately, lose when growing into adulthood, when responsibility takes over, forgetting the miraculous places we created in our imagination.

Greg Craola  Simkins - Rook s Move, 2016 (Left) / My Specialty is Special Tea, 2015 (Right) photo credits - artist video juxtapoz anmelden
Greg Craola Simkins – Rook s Move, 2016 (Left) / My Specialty is Special Tea, 2015 (Right)

From Graffiti to Fine Art

Greg Simkins began drawing when he was only three years old inspired by various cartoons and books including Watership Down by Richard Adams, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, and The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. At the age of 18, Greg started doing graffiti under the name “Craola”. Graffiti taught him perspective, composition, and color theory so he turned to large-scale works while further developing his artistic skills. Simkins received his BA in Studio Art from California State University, Long Beach in 1999. After graduating, Greg worked as an illustrator for different clothing companies and bands, but also worked on video games. Greg Simkins became a full-time artist in 2005. His paintings display wonderful mythical landscapes, full of weird creatures that occupy those long forgotten dark corners of the mind. His instantly recognizable surreal subjects are painted with such skill that their lack of reality is completely natural. Out of his love for the animal world he seeks to bring together unlikely friendships and conflicts including deer with killer whales, puppies with crustacean pals, and birds sharing the air with rodents.

Craola’s paintings display wonderful mythical landscapes, full of weird creatures that occupy those long forgotten dark corners of the mind

Greg Craola Simkins - The Weasow Origins, 2015 (Left) / The Weasow, 2015 (Right) juxtapoz home aufrufe geladen
Greg Craola Simkins – The Weasowl Origins, 2015 (Left) / The Weasowl, 2015 (Right)

IMSCARED and I’m Scared: The Movie!

IMSCARED is Greg Simkins own brand of clothing, merchandise and accessories developed in 2009, to further expand Craola’s art into more everyday mediums that can be worn and enjoyed by his diverse fan base. I’m Scared: The Movie! is a stop-motion short film based on Greg Simkins’s work. The story of two brothers, facing the things that go bump in the night, are filmed in collaboration with director Pete Levin, whose credits include IFC’s Comedy Bang Bang and Cartoon Network’s MAD. The film was funded by a substantial Kickstarter project.

Greg Craola Simkins - Court Maker, 2014 (Left) / Wilhelm, 2015 (Right), photo credits - artist dauer geladen
Greg Craola Simkins – Court Maker, 2014 (Left) / Wilhelm, 2015 (Right)

Collections and Collaborations

Simkins’ artworks can be found in the collections of many celebrities including the film director Nick Cassavetes, Grammy award winning singer-songwriter Everlast, singer Fergie, actor Josh Duhamel, CEO of Nike Mark Parker, Lead Singer of Good Charlotte Joel Madden and numerous others. Craola’s commercial client/collaboration list includes Disney, Pearl Jam, Linkin Park, Juxtapoz, Mattel, Logitech, Converse, Pulse International, Eddie Vedder, Blink 182, Upper Playground, to name a few. Greg Simkins’ art can also be found in a wide variety of industries from clothing to video games and it has come to life in the form of toys.

Greg Simkins - Tricky Treators, 2015 (Left) / The Gobbler, 2014 (Right) stop
Greg Simkins – Tricky Treators, 2015 (Left) / The Gobbler, 2014 (Right)

Greg Simkins at KP Projects

Simkins’ work has been included in numerous individual and collective shows throughout the United States and beyond. One of his latest solo exhibitions took place at the KP Projects. Titled Where am I, it was Greg’s fourth solo show at the Los Angeles Gallery; his earlier exhibitions at the space devoted to exhibiting contemporary works of art that are challenging, innovative and committed to fostering new directions in American art, include Good Knight (2014), Greg Craola Simkins (2013), and Cloud Theory (2012). In 2011, Simkins had his curatorial debut with INLE at Gallery Nineteen Eighty Eight, a show in which he also participated.

Greg Craola Simkins - The Outside, 2010 anmelden home dauer aufrufe
Greg Craola Simkins – The Outside, 2010

Place to Escape

Widely recognized for his highly imaginative and surreal works, Greg Craola Simkins explores pop surrealism through fine art. He has created his own universe called “The Outside”. Much like the other worlds we have had glimpses of such as Narnia, Neverland and Middle Earth, he has created his own place to inhabit, escape to and daydream about. It is full of heroes and villains, and similar creatures beyond imagination who are still waiting to be invented. All those things that excited us as kids, Greg Simkins attempts to get back through working on this world.

The artist is represented by KP Projects (formerly known as Merry Karnowsky Gallery).

Greg Simkins lives and works in Torrance, California.

Featured image: Greg Simkins in front one of his pieces, photo credits Arrested Motion
All images courtesy of the artist

YearName of the exhibitionMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2016BeinArt Surreal Art Show 2016CoproGallery, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2015Where Am IMerry Karnowsky Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
2014The GobblerMerry Karnowsky Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2014Good KnightMerry Karnowsky Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
2014Playground LegendsFIFTY24SF Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2014Masterworks: Defining A New NarrativeLong Beach Museum of ArtGroup
2013Greg Craola SimkinsMerry Karnowsky Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
2012Cloud TheoryMerry Karnowsky Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
2011Quick and PainfulCrewest Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2010Inside the OutsideJoshua Liner Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2009The Pearl ThiefGallery Nineteen Eighty Eight, Los Angeles, CASolo
2009Seeing ThingsFifty24Sf, San Francisco, CASolo
2009OverdoseCopro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2009The Art of Sketch Theatrethe Gnomon Gallery, Hollywood, CAGroup
2008It Wanders (West)Gallery Nineteen Eighty Eight, Los Angeles, CASolo
2008It Wanders (East)Joshua Liner Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2008The WellMModern Gallery, Palm Springs, CASolo
2008Locked and LoadedJoshua Liner Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2008Stan Lee TributeGallery Nineteen Eighty Eight, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2007I’m ScaredGallery Nineteen Eighty Eight, Los Angeles, CASolo
2007Don’t SleepFIFTY24SF Gallery, San Francisco, CASolo
2007F.A.M.E. CollectiveArt Basel, Miami, FLGroup
2007KNOW ShowArt Basel by Mark Murphy Design, Miami, FLGroup
2007Big Money Art AuctionCopro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2007BLOC28Disney Vault 28, Anaheim, CAGroup
2007Crazy for CultGallery Nineteen Eighty Eight, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2007Vegas ROCKS MModern Gallery, Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas, CAGroup
2007Forgotten Lands, with Naoto HattoriLineage Gallery, Philadelphia, PAGroup
2007Paint By NumbersCorey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2007Winter FactionLineage Gallery, Philadelphia, PAGroup
2006ImaMonstaGallery Nineteen Eighty Eight, Los Angeles, CASolo
2006Vivisect Playsect IIIGallery Nineteen Eighty Eight, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2006I AM 8 BIT – Version 3.0Gallery Nineteen Eighty Eight, Los Angeles, CAGroup
200615 Year AnniversaryCopro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2006Diamonds Spades Hearts ClubsGallery Nineteen Eighty Eight, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2006A Tribute to Dr. SeussMModern Gallery, Palm Springs, CAGroup
2006Bergamont Invasion IICopro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2006UP Lineage Gallery, Philadelphia, PAGroup
2006Family Guy Los Angeles Museum of Television & Radio, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2005Vivisect Playsect IIGallery Nineteen Eighty Eight, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2005I AM 8 BIT – Version 2.0Gallery Nineteen Eighty Eight, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2005Flight of the Navigator, with Joe LedbetterGallery Nineteen Eighty Eight, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2004Young GunsGallery Nineteen Eighty Eight, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2004I AM 8 BIT – Version 1.0Gallery Nineteen Eighty Eight, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2004Kofie One and CraolaFIFTY24SF Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup