Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /nfs/c02/h03/mnt/20091/domains/ on line 99

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /nfs/c02/h03/mnt/20091/domains/ on line 21

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /nfs/c02/h03/mnt/20091/domains/ on line 576

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /nfs/c02/h03/mnt/20091/domains/ on line 98
Shane Simmons » About

Shane Simmons


The secret to being a bore is to tell everything

Every time I sit down to hack out another one of these things I’m confronted with the gnawing suspicion that I am doing more harm than good to the original creation and that if the work functioned properly, then there would be no need for an accompanying text. Perhaps that’s unrealistic, or just a personal goal.

I any case, while I’m well acquainted with the standard “artist’s statement” I would much rather leave the work open, and preserve the intended Rorsach effect. I have never been able to properly describe the experience of making these paintings in writing: the waves of energy that vibrate up the spinal column and hum up through the arms, or the feeling of impossible connection and fleeting existential awareness arriving like a friendly bolt of lightning that’s hit the house and caught my heart on fire. The method of painting that I’ve developed is like being fully plugged in, freebasing the essential energy of the universe, neither created nor destroyed but simply harnessed and manipulated. Opening a direct connection to the big mystery while creating an immediate record, and all of it infused with the challenge of trying to hold on to it and get it all down before it slips away again. I’ve often related most to the process described by musicians and music generally requires little explanation to be appreciated. If I could describe these things properly in an essay I might not need to paint at all but the trouble is I do need to paint.

I have tried on more logical or academic justifications for my basic addiction to this ancient and unpopular practice but the truth is that the painting is a record and the record is both the game and the goal in itself. This is not the kind of thing that is easy to talk about at cocktail parties and I’m certain that people have been put away for ravings much less strange. Perhaps if I was able to chalk it all up to some kind of religious experience it might all seem perfectly normal in today’s climate, fit for Oprah; but I recognize the experience as being purely organic. To me the supernatural has no meaning and has simply served as a placeholder for the not yet understood or the completely bogus, and looking back on the development of my work it occurs that part of what I have been doing is trying to articulate visually that point of view while exploring the boundaries of my own perception. I also convinced myself fairly early on that delving headlong into the depths of my own consciousness while living life on my own terms would be the only way I would actually discover material of enough value to justify my own existence and excuse my obvious eccentricity, hoping all the while that eventually some good will come of it. This investigation always seemed like a genuine frontier, or a least an interesting way to make paintings.

There is an element of arrogant self destruction that anticipates walking into a fire like that with the belief that you will make it out with your sanity intact much less holding something useful that anyone would want to actually look at. Once you’ve made that kind of commitment the reality is that the trip never really ends and the questions always stretch further out of reach and into the endless night, always staring back, like Nietzsche’s abyss. -Shane Simmons