Screenshot of John F. Simon Jr.’s recent drawings, recorded in his online archive
I’ve always admired the dedication that comes with practicing “one-a-day.” I’ve tried my hand at it over the years: snap one photo a day, write one journal entry a day, I’m currently on a (cheesy) roll recording one grateful thought per day. Most of these attempts last a few months at best. So when I learned that Intersections artist John F. Simon Jr. creates one sketch per day, which he’s kept up for over 16 years (seven of which have been recorded on his online archive), I was mesmerized. I find that sort of artistic devotion so impressive, and it makes his work more meaningful for me. It gets to the “why” of art; the process behind Simon’s work serves a purpose beyond aesthetics. It’s a zen moment, it’s introspective, it’s meditative. As the artist describes it, “I make a drawing and then I write down what I think it’s about and the whole package tells me something about where my head is.”
Do you have a daily routine, art-related or otherwise, that serves as an opportunity to reflect or look inward?
Amy Wike, Marketing Manager
Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Vesela Sretenovic introduces John F. Simon Jr. who presents an artist’s talk in the galleries about his Intersections installation Points, Lines, and Colors in Succession, October 17, 2013. Photos: Sue Ahn
Simon’s works will be on display through February 9, 2014. Did you miss his artist’s perspective? Read how the Phillips’s stairwell influenced the border of Simon’s work, Moment of Release.
Panoramic installation view of Points, Lines, and Colors in Succession. Photo: Amy Wike
Clockwise from top: John F. Simon Jr., Moment of Release, 2013; detail; carved wood screening below house stairs. Photos: Patti Favero
I’ve been at the Phillips for nine years, and until John F. Simon Jr.’s current installation in the stairwell of the Phillips mansion, I never noticed the beautiful decorative woodwork beneath the staircase. Simon uses the same decorative pattern in Moment of Release, a work created specifically for the installation. I asked Mr. Simon about it and learned he was very taken with the staircase decoration and purposefully referenced it in his work.
Come tonight, October 17, to hear John F. Simon Jr. give an Artist’s Perspective talk in front of the works at 6:30 pm. The talk is free with admission.