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David Simpson

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In my pictures, elves, jesters, devils, birds, insects, and voyeurs all play in and peek into colorfully decorated Medieval, Arabic and Persian rooms with a story to tell. The stories come from the myth making part of my mind--The part of my mind that tries to explain what is beneath my feet or above and inside my head. These sometimes silly stories help me play out my joy, my playfulness, my humor, my anger, and my sense of indignation of injustices (social or political). The characters set a pose and the rooms provide a stage for me to address my reactions to the conditions of nature and of my soul.


   My art mother and father are Remedios Varo and Odilon Redon. They, along with my literary heroes Salman Rushdie, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isaac Bashevis Singer and Nikolay Vassilyevitch Gogol, all inspire me to create. They inspire the perception of the power in me to see the world as if there is a magical presence in effect. If one looks between the lines of mere fact, this, presence, has the power to open up worlds of possibilities that on the surface look quite mundane or just too fantastical to be real or taken seriously. The alchemical, magical, cabalistic, surrealistic and fantastical themes that run through my work are akin to my artistic parents and literary heroes, but I do not hold too sternly to any particular artistic literary canon. These worlds and images are not to be taken as fact but as portals of the many ways of looking at and through the world.


   Filtering the situations I find myself facing in the real world through the lens of the magical realist and surrealist has been crucial in recovering from my sense of paralysis and defeat after my visual impairment took hold in my everyday life. I needed to feel that there was more to this world. What I once thought were the most important things that I just could not live without were being taken away from me. Riding my bike alone, driving a car, walking down a sidewalk without crashing into people or signs and flowerpots, running alone, my job, and potential career as a graphic designer, were all being thrown into doubt and being questioned. The result of the pain of that reanalysis through my artwork caused me to see that I still had cause to be grateful.


   I still had enough eyesight to do my art; of course, I had to change the way I worked. My sense of limitations caused me to use the surface of my canvases as a study in expanding my world where I was and inside my head. Looking at it magically gave me the feeling that I was now on an adventure into new undiscovered worlds. The expression of surrealism helped me at times juxtapose opposing thoughts and feelings to cast a different sort of light upon my situation to help bring about new harmonies that were invisible. Both helped me change and grow my perceptions. What could be more real and more magical than to find and kick up the sparks of the divine expanse within my illusions of devastation?

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