Spencer Simons: A Visionary Artist Who Resurrects the Beauty of Life!
There are those in this world called ‘visionaries.’ These are the people who see absolute treasures where others, without their vivid imaginations and endless fascination, only see broken objects or lost dreams. Visionaries are the people who have a passion for the black-and-whites’ on screen; the words of an Austen or a Poe instead of a modern-day vampire; and they see the absolute beauty in the past.
Spencer Simons is one of those visionaries, and his outstanding work as an artist has been beguiling and enchanting any and all lucky admirers who have come across his work. One such portrait – a work entitled, Inferiority Complex – recently came to my attention and I was thrilled. This is a true work of art that shows definite humor as well as a path that allows the viewer to go back and see the beauty of the past. An automobile is featured – one that has been sent to ‘pasture’ with weeds growing up around the broken, paint-chopped body. Behind the collectible auto is a billboard featuring a brand new shiny car – a perfectly clean version of what the old rusted car beside it used to be once upon a time. There are many ways to take this painting; but whether it be from the humorous side or the remembrance of a shiny past that has now been overgrown with the weeds of time, pain and regret – Spencer Simons has given his audience the ability to ‘see’ the lost treasures and polish them up like a fine diamond.
Born and raised in Miami, Spencer graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in painting, with minors in photography, printmaking, and ceramics. From there, like most visionaries, he found himself on many cross-country trips, traveling along the coasts and finding inspiration with each mile he drove. From backpacking in national parks to coasting down the highway and seeing the old and new in everything from buildings to landscapes – Spencer Simons has honed his unbelievable gift with each new location he discovers.
Having a background in photography, according to Mr. Simons, is what influenced his realist style. He is able to utilize the photographic elements of time and framing. To this truly innovative mind a piece of paper, a stretched canvas – everything reminds him of the blank viewfinder of a camera.
In his own words: “The camera’s viewfinder frames the subject, training the photographer to think ‘inside the box.’ A successful composition relies a great deal on this framing and I was taught that a good photo should not require any cropping. So while framing the shot, I become keenly aware of all the elements at the edges. This rudiment naturally carries over into my paintings. I will place an object at the edge of a painting to create tension, enhance movement or increase its importance.”
From old farmhouses to abandoned boats to slightly tilted buildings located in ghost towns that are now surrounded by sand and memories, Spencer Simons captures the lost past. With the use of light as it filters through the old boards, the scene is spotlighted – a scene that once was. And he uses the angles and symmetry of nature to bring every picture, print, sculpture, and truly unforgettable work of art to life.
Some of the amazing things that others simply walk by on the street or ignore completely are subjects that Spencer Simons encapsulates and offers to the public. One element that is truly interesting is rust, which a lot like art itself, can be hammered and forged and reinvented. Rust is a natural occurrence that most of us never consider, but it truly stands for something more…the age, the change, the dwindling of an object or a life as it stops thriving and slowly returns back to the land it came from.
Wood is yet another ‘scenic’ element that is used as a long forgotten treasure in the prints and paintings that Spencer Simons creates. From farmhouses to various abandoned buildings, these objects were made by man. Whether it was once a home where a family worked hard to live a better life, or a structure that was perhaps used by an outlaw as he rode the range hiding from the long arm of the law that was after him – every scene, every building, every piece of wood, tells a story. And with Spencer’s artistic talent the mind’s eye can stare at his work for hours and create any back-story they wish to see inside that frame.
The phrase that Mr. Simon’s uses that made me truly sit and stare at these works of art was ‘lingering echo.’ That’s truly what his artwork is all about. Whether it be humans, buildings, rusted out cars – all of these are shells that once held something dear – souls, dreams, hopes… Before these objects crumbled, there was once ‘life’ inside these decaying shells – shells that Spencer Simons magnificently breathes new life into.
For anyone who is a visionary; for anyone who holds on to the dreams of the past and wishes to better understand the future, Spencer Simons delivers the masterpieces that can and will be admired for a long time to come. With artists like Spencer, each and every one of us can take the time to stop and re-discover the treasures of the past. In this day of social media, computers and the never-ending wealth of technology, it is so unbelievably fresh and exciting to see true ‘man-made’ creations resurrected.
Until Next Time, Everybody,
See Spencer Simons’ Incredible Work at: