Rich Simmons first started drawing at a young age as a way to help him deal with loneliness and depression. Only later in life did he become aware he had been self administering art therapy, which inspired him to start Art Is The Cure. His goal with this project was to inspire people to find a cure for their hardships through creativity in the same way he had, and to this day this project remains his true passion.
|‘Vanities Death Grip’
Having never gone to traditional art institutes, Simmons is inspired by New York street artists from the 70’s, along side silver screen heroes and the multi-textured walls of London’s streets. His works are made from reclaimed billboards, and combined with an intricate hand-drawn stencil style Simmons creates pieces of ‘street archaeology’, each piece being individual due to its reclaimed nature.
An artist with an obvious social conscience, his work brings to light the fragility and stresses of consumer capitalism with a dash of his signature humour. Another continuous theme in Simmons work is modern perceptions of masculinity starting in his 2013 ‘Kryptonite’ series; he has produced several pieces including ‘Between the Capes’ depicting Batman and Superman as lovers.
Having been a member of several bands growing up, by writing lyrics and poetry Simmons brings a lyrical flair to his walls with works like ‘Just Be You Tiful’. This piece reminds us to care less about fashion and be happy with our naked selves.
Simmons came to global fame in 2011 for his throw up on a large wall at the embankment skate park celebrating Prince William and Kate Middleton; the work reached international audiences within hours of its completion and propelled his standing in the art scene.