ROBERT SIMONEAU


Mom's Spaghetti
Intaglio
10 x 13 inches
2017


ARTIST STATEMENT

Simplicity, humor, and honesty of material are what motivate me.

At a young age, I spent a lot of free time isolated from video games and other distractions. So, during these periods I was forced to either read or draw, and I hated reading. Once I picked up a pencil, I showed a great aptitude for capturing realistic subject matter. Strangely enough, I never put much effort into improving my skills – relative to how much time and effort people normally commit to their passion. I just wanted to be decent at everything. Never did I realize that, maybe, there is a way to combine all of these interests so I don’t feel as though I’m pulling myself in different directions.

My work is generally humorous, although occasionally I feel as though humor devalues the content. I want to make art that seems mundane but directs attention to things that we often overlook. To me, I give it a more unique feel that lends to what I am sometimes told is an odd sense of humor. People like to be told how to think because it’s easier. Once they know what they’re supposed to see then they can follow formula until it no longer works. I want my art to disrupt common schemes to then allow the viewer to see the work through their own interpretation. It must be interesting enough for the viewer to be inspired into considering something they never have before.

From printmaking to pottery, I try to integrate figures into my works as much as possible, in spite of my minimalist bias. Although I am still relatively new to the field of ceramics, my affinity for the medium continues to grow as my abilities improve. The work I create demonstrates a focus on simplicity. As many of my two-dimensional works attempt being traditional with inverted nuances, my vessels suggest a certain amount of function with some type of exaggeration. My goal is to eventually progress to a level of mastery that I can create forms that will, above all, evoke an appreciation of their medium and a willingness to experiment. Currently, I am seeking to find a balance between the intentional and the messy to express confidence in material and an understanding of time in creating.

My process is generally very intuitive. I don’t normally like to research during the creation process. Instead, I prefer to depend on my own, pre-existing knowledge as I dive into a project. I find that it’s more honest to show the world what I know at the moment I created this. There is definitely a distinction between presenting what one knows from what they just learned and will probably forget in a few hours.
Following this method seems to produce more linear results as I progress, which is the desired product. Most of my work exists as a conflict between my affinity for traditional baroque aesthetics and trashy, folk nuances. In spite of my fascination with everything ugly, I resist squandering the skills I have spent so long to develop. Regardless, I find that what results from a persistent balancing act generally holds more resonance than the outlying and extreme because it has the potential to be more grounded and relatable.

www.robertsimoneau.org

headshot - Robert Marshall Simoneau.jpg