Warren Simmons

I am a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and continue to live in this location to date. My art education began in middle and high school where I learned traditional drafting techniques. I began creating personal artwork in my senior year. Upon graduation in 1996, i began my studies of architecture at Louisiana State University and completed the bachelor degree in 2003. Architecture seemed like a more functional and practical way to study art that could benefit people and could provide more job security at the time. I also felt that architecture was the highest artform because is was an art that served a purpose on a spiritual and functional level at the same time. During this period my personal artwork developed as well, and attended and participated in many gallery events.

Upon graduation, I began an apprenticeship in stained glass under the tutelage of Duncan Tooley in 2004. Upon closure of this studio in 2009, I began working for Stephen Wilson where I remain to date. The stained glass trade has proven to be a bridge between the art and architectural world. We create beautiful two dimensional objects, yet they serve a functional purpose in regard to the elements of light, moisture and privacy. It also keeps me involved in the architecture by involvement with contractors, architects, and interior designers. We get hands on experience in basic carpentry and the craft of building. It’s my goal to take a client’s idea and transform it into something that is of high quality and respectable in the design world.

Personal artwork still remains my sanctuary. The canvas is a special place for me with no boundaries for content. The only person who has to be satisfied is myself. I often feel that one does their best work when they stop thinking and just do. When I approach to the easel, I attempt to strip preconceptions the basic: form and color and texture. These are the building blocks of everything beyond them. By doing this in a non-representational way, I hope it becomes more universal, and can be appreciated by a larger audience.

Of late I have been calling my work “expressive form”. The term form refers to the use of archetypal shapes or variations of pure geometries. The expressive term refers to the arrangement of the shapes. Much of architecture school was learning to arrange shapes in a practical and poetic way. In this way the shapes speak a language in how they relate to each other. I’ve also attempted to create images that speak on a micro and macro level. I design pieces to have a first impression which is a soft and harmonious flow of shapes from afar. The second impression comes as you move in and explore the details of linework and shade more closely.

I gain inspiration for ideas from an eclectic mix of architectural ornamentation, natural stone formations, plants, bones, graphic design, graffiti, old heavy metal album art, etc. I enjoy listening to experimental ambient soundscapes as well. I enjoy ideas these artist use to develop sound as a visual device. I believe there is a great deal of crossover applied in my work as well. I tend to visualize art in the same way as shapes and the spaces between them are similar to how a musician uses notes and silence.

I hope you enjoy these works. It’s intended to be open ended and ambiguous. What you take from them is up to you. There are obviously themes in many, but I do try to make this work approachable yet still bold visually. Thanks for your time.