Yvette Simone


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Yvette Simone
About the author

BIOGRAPHY Native American, African American, Irish and Scottish. Born in the Northwest, her family’s story has been featured on Oprah. She has been honored at the White House for her artwork included in the Arts in Embassies program. Simone resides and works in Washington’s flavorful artist neighborhood of Pioneer Square in Down Town Seattle. Simone has completed eleven public art sculptures, exhibited in five museums, exhibited in numerous galleries locally, nationally and internationally. In 2007, after attending an international art show in New York, Simone was stabbed by a white supremist in her hotel lobby. It was said to be an anniversary crime because he had selected a minority on that same date for three years and tried to kill them. Upon her return home to Seattle she decided content did matter in her work. ABOUT THE ARTIST SIMONE At first glance, un-a-sooming, easily dismissed, most always under estimated. Upon further examination, rich with layers, skills and talents. Simone and her paintings can be described using the same adjectives; childlike, playful, deliberate, intelligent, thought provoking, seemingly simple yet complex and masterfully skilled in artistic delivery. She is predictably unpredictable, spontaneous, loving, playfully mischievous, always thinking, always observing and simply breathing in the priceless intangible moments of life. Simone and her paintings give the viewer multiple perspectives with rich layers of meaning for an aesthetically thought provoking and highly interactive experience. Simone’s authentic yet unorthodox nature of pushing the limits to find the real or perceived boundaries and then crossing those boundaries to push and stretch herself and those around her is refreshing. ABOUT SIMONE’S WORK Simone’s work challenges what art is with her seemingly comic strip like style. It challenges censorship with hard topics like date rape, molestation, aids, recession, American history and Christian teachings. Upon first glance Simone’s paintings seem childlike, simple and playful but in further review her strong composition leads the viewer through her paintings to discover multiple layers of deliberate meaning and symbolism within an intricate composition. As the viewer unfolds her paintings, they realize her paintings are not simple but complex, not playful but often disturbing and not childlike but adult in content and masterfully skilled in artistic delivery of highly intelligent work. Simone’s work has been influenced by artist of the past such as: Jacob Lawrence and Benton with their everyday subjects delivered in highly expressive compositions. Matisse and Picasso with their shifting perspective and bold lines. Thiebaud and Andy Warhol with their design backgrounds influencing their fine art. Gauguin and Joseph Albers with their deliberate sophisticated use of color. Lichtenstein with his comic strip like fine art and Dennis Hopper with his later choice to paint on vinyl. ABOUT SIMONE’S METHOD OF WORK It starts with a thought. It moves to a problem to solve (out-of-the-box creative thinkers and scientist love to have problems to solve). Pours out on small paper squares as phrases, words, concepts, elements to be included and the layers of meaning to unfold. Like brainstorming for a writer, this process births the inception of many ideas to explore for individual paintings and series of paintings. Then the drawing begins by making many thumbnail sketches (small abbreviated versions of what the finished version could be). Some thumbnails are vary detailed others just jotted down like a list to remind the artist of what she has envisioned. Typically next, Simone will do a study in a larger format, lately on a brown paper bag because it has a medium tone and it’s a good size to work on adding additional information, details and layers that may not be included in the original thumbnail sketch. But not always. Sometimes she just begins the finished painting from the original thumbnail or combination of thumbnails or just starts painting with just a thought in mind and lets the painting take shape spontaneously. Recently, Simone viewed and exhibit of Dennis Hopper’s work in Los Angles, CA where he painted on vinyl. She returned to Seattle and tried painting on vinyl and hasn’t stopped. It translated perfect for what she’s been trying to accomplish in her work.