On Saturday at Merry Karnowsky gallery, Greg ‘Craola’ Simkins fell down the rabbit hole into a dreamland championed by the “Good Knight”. His latest exhibition (previewed here) shows us a strange and beautiful world where good and evil coexists as armies of decadent animal soldiers. Simkins was inspired by the memory of his parents wishing him “good night” and the elaborate visions that would follow.
The painting that sparked this new series is “Messenger”, depicting an anthropomorphic parrot-headed swordsman splashing across the canvas. He carries a brass key that is a common motif throughout, unlocking a book from which Simkins’ illustrations flow. Like a dream, the mixture of images is eclectic and confused, celebrating the absurd place our mind goes to when we fall asleep. Beyond that, the work’s interpretation is left to the beholder.
In the next room are sketches of these twisted royal subjects. From monacle-wearing foxes, toucans in top hats, to the “Count Hare”, they all come together to form a whimsical social order. Outside, attendees enjoyed clips of his upcoming stop motion film, “I’m Scared”, projected onto the gallery walls facing La Brea Avenue. For an artist like Simkins who excels in bringing our wildest imagination to life, animation is an exciting next step.
“Good Knight” by Greg ‘Craola’ Simkins exhibits at Merry Karnowsky Gallery from May 17th to June 14th, 2014.