Simon J Griffiths
I am a self-taught artist, influenced by surrealism, lowbrow, fantasy, street and pop art, tattoos, comic books and death. I painted sporadically when I was young. In 2008 I experienced the death of my soul-mate, and as a consequence of this encountered the visionary artist S V Mitchell. These two events were pivotal in the development of my art. I became inspired to paint in earnest, to pour my grief out on the page in order to explore my own, our own, human relationship with death; the yin and yang of it, the black and the white and the varying shades of it, the raw unending pain of it.
Since then I have painted continually, as a matter of necessity and compulsion. Since then I have had my own near-death experience, and have had, yet again, to deal with difficult emotions and questions of existence. I have tried to do this with humour and irony, colourfully, inquisitively, using pop gods and archetypes, skulls, circuses, and spiritual symbols. I have tried to keep a balance in my art, to show the light as well as the darkness, the light within ourselves as well as the light within the shadows of the world. And all the while I have wondered as I work, was it meant to be this way? Am I, are we, here now, in this place and time, through fate or fickle fortune, by accident, or design?
Of all the images in my work, it is the clown that represents me most. He appeared first in my paintings as a symbol of death, then of grief and loneliness, then finally, of myself. He wanders through my canvases, through living rooms and lunatic asylums, looking for… what?
His very presence poses a question that only the observer can answer.
I predominantly work in acrylics, on all sizes of canvas. I also produce miniatures and some 3D work. I like acrylic as it suits my style, and as it is quick drying it facilitates the growth of the piece as I work on it. In the early days I worked more chaotically, never quite sure how a piece would turn out when I started it. This process was cathartic and served its purpose at the time, but these days I like to give more consideration to planning in the initial stages, and have a clearer vision of the desired outcome.
Thank you for your interest in my work. I’m curious to know how you respond to it.