Simon is a bonkers video producing artist. He has this intense wacked out sense of order reminding me of the film ‘Holy Mountain’ on acid. I have admired Simon’s work from a far for many years. The best part about contributing for 01 Magazine is being able to interview someone whose work you respect, and be able to share it with an audience.
The video “Jammin On The One” where you pass the guy the bagel with the jam on it, that brief one second shot was so unexpected and so funny. Where do you come up with this kind of stuff?
Ha-ha, yeah that bagel was a good last minute decision that day. I made that video with some old friends I grew up with in Langley. I wanted to try doing an actual “music video” to see what it was like because up until that point I had just done short little experiments to learn different techniques. It took me a longtime and I’m not sure if I can go off like that again for such a project.
I also like the guys doing yoga on the crystal in the video. Nice touch!
I’m constantly trying to formulate a better more accessible way to talk about my art. Can you talk about you’re qualms here? Does it help you to always understand what you’re doing? Or do you feel more comfortable in the realm which you don’t quite understand?
Indeed, I’ve started to acknowledge some of the constant themes and processes but it’s difficult to keep it all in perspective. It’s hard to pin point or summarize. I’m interested in working in a realm that I don’t quite understand. I get excited while creating things when the process pushes me beyond my comfort levels and challenge my own aesthetics at the time. It’s funny, time and time again this keeps coming up. I feel that I know I’m heading in the right direction if I don’t understand anything that I’m making.
How do you talk about work that you don’t understand?
I try to be as vague as possible. Hopefully someday someone will understand (chuckle). I suppose I talk more about the process or elaborate on influences and interests of mine at the time. The majority of my work involves a lot of reprocessing and layering. The procedure can be quite drawn out. Most of my works take on dramatic shifts before I am done with them. Summarizing what I have done or doing is the most difficult. Perhaps it feels insincere as there is rarely a single narrative, symbolization or finite intention with my work. I attempt to leave it as open to interpretation as possible and am extremely curious about what people relate or react to. I enjoy exploring tangents of thought that begin with a particular aspect that someone is intrigued by.
Time and serious contemplation lead to the end somehow. Sometimes I need to put the work away and remove it from my mind for a while. It even takes months in order to configure a solution sometimes. Finishing is the trickiest part for me and can be extremely elusive at times. I love and hate feeling lost during the process of generating artwork. It’s the fascination of a new discovery that drives me to some unknown endpoint. Otherwise it’s boring and feels like work and I hate working.
I’ve had plenty of experience overworking paintings and covering up things I regretted. This has helped me to slow down and be more present with what is unfolding. It’s too easy to get lost in a vision of where I’m taking the work and lose sight of what’s actually in front of me. I try like a son of a bitch to stop step back and look from an alternate perspective.
The show with Patrick was constantly evolving and transforming until the day of the show. It continued even after the opening. I don’t think the show really has a finished state. It is more like a specific moment of an ongoing process or a particular state due to the environment at that time. It felt infinite with so many variations while we were assembling the installation. The more we added the hungrier the piece seemed to get.
What’s the longest you’ve spent on a painting?
Hard to gauge, I usually have more then one painting on the go so I can keep working at the same time; let things marinate in my minds eye. I like to work in series because it allows me to explore the different variations or possibilities that come to mind when I am painting. Sometimes I’ll give up and then rework a piece a year or two later. I’ve noticed I go through stages where I just like starting paintings and don’t feel inclined to finishing anything. Space gets on my nerves. I would love to have a very large studio one day.
Accompanying video work here
What are your plans for your work in the future?
Summer has provided a lot of recreational fun for production 101. I have plenty of unfinished ideas, projects and materials at my house that I need to start going over and either throwing in the bin or build upon. I’m trying to balance my video and painting time lines to be as efficient as possible so they compliment each other. I’d like to do a show before the year is done but I haven’t finalized anything yet. Also my rap career has been on a major hiatus since high school. It feels like its time to step up and grab the mic.
When was your last art voyage?
Last year for a ‘Lifetime Group Show’ in S.F. It has been too long since I did an extensive travel. However I am laying down some serious plans and preparations for an extended stay in Germany, Spain and hopefully a few more countries in Europe next year.