Preview: Greg "Craola" Simkins "Stop Haunting Me" @ Merry Karnowsky, LAJuxtapoz // Monday, 01 Apr 2013
We just got a message from our good friend, and former cover artist, Greg "Craola" Simkins about his new show, Stop Haunting Me, that opens this Saturday, April 6 at Merry Karnowsky in LA. The show will feature a series of new paintings and never-before-seen prints. As Craola told us, " As I painted my pieces for this exhibit, two themes kept reoccurring to me. My twentieth year anniversary of writing graffiti under the name 'Craola' , which I began in 1993, was approaching. It is unbelievable that it is 2013 already. I blinked and 20 years flew by."
What keeps you up at night? Is it events from your past? Perhaps it's regrets? For me, more times than not, it's reflections of the decisions I've made both good and bad and had I not made them, where would I be today? I always wonder what my life would be like had I not picked up a spray can and began writing "Craola" 20 years ago. That single decision propelled me into what I would be doing the rest of my life and turbo charged my obsession to make art. Now with the proper tools in hand, dealing with the things that haunt me in the middle of the night is an ongoing task. Jotting down notes and sketches in the early hours has introduced me to a formidable cast of characters and themes which at times are innocent and playful, but many times are accusatory and remind me of the harm I have done in my life, and point to inevitable repercussions.
As I painted my pieces for this exhibit, two themes kept reoccurring to me. My twentieth year anniversary of writing graffiti under the name "Craola" , which I began in 1993, was approaching. It is unbelievable that it is 2013 already. I blinked and 20 years flew by. There was also a reoccurring idea in my head that I couldn't shake. It had to do with role reversals and what if our past could come back to haunt us. What would it look like? What would be the fate of a lion, who spent his life preying on Giraffes and Zebras on the African plane? What would it look like if an innocent lamb were to confront a room full of wolves who knowingly were discussing their true intentions? It's not easy to shake the dark thoughts at night as I look back at my past, but there has been an escape along the way which started with simply writing my name on a wall. The outpouring of ideas that has resulted from this singular event has become my sword to cut down the things that haunt me as they wake me from sleep.
April 6—May 4, 2013
Los Angeles, CA