John Simpson

Born: 1975

Born in Gloucestershire in 1975, John Simpson first studied at the University of Gloucestershire and then later at The Cambridge School of Art.  John Simpson's prints and drawings originally made an impact with installations for streetwear brand Carhartt and

Carnaby Street
's Deal Real records, as well as with collaborations with Fashion Designer Wale Adeyemi.  After a sell-out first show, he exhibited in London, New York and Sao Paulo, Brazil.  He was recently featured alongside Damien Hirst and Sir Peter Blake on Alan Yentob’s BBC1 art series Imagine.


Simpson's primary medium is the Monotype, a process that is recognised as the most direct and painterly form of Printmaking. Using a combination of drawing and painting in oil based ink; multiple layers are used to create the final image. 'The Monotype print process extends the possibilities of traditional drawing, the marks are made by anything which applies pressure to the surface, even just hands for a very direct approach'. Drawing has always been the most important element in Simpson's work, which relates to the graphic tradition of artists like Francisco Goya and Edvard Munch. His work references the world of folk tale and myth, exploring the relationship between the human figure and animal forms. Often introducing contemporary elements to these classical subjects, Simpson's imagery seems caught somewhere between childhood imagination and adult reasoning. His ability to capture the physical and psychological nature of these creatures can both disquiet and enchant in equal measure.


In a recent interview Simpson said “As a printmaker I find the sale of digital reproduction prints as ‘limited edition original prints’ very frustrating. Unfortunately some dealers and artists are taking advantage of the buyers misunderstanding. I’m positive that we are now at the beginning of an exciting time following the economic changes and there will be less work focused on pop and celebrity and more work of far greater integrity and significance”.

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