Barry Simons (born 1943)
Barry Simons grew up in the San Fernando Valley with his two sisters. He boxed at the age of sixteen, and for a while aspired to be a heavyweight champion. In the early 1960s, after abbreviated careers in the Army and junior college, Simons hitchhiked through Europe, the Middle East, and Mexico. His poems and short stories were published in small press books in the 1970s. Simons has been painting prolifically since 1976. He creates provocative drawings, applying varied colored inks with pen or brush and often adding texture and depth to his images by using collage. Words, thoughts, phrases, and poetry may also be woven into these multi-layered pictures. Most often working figuratively, the mood of his images can be angry or joyous, his subjects in harmony or opposition. Simons’s work has been accepted into the permanent collections of both the Oakland Museum of California and the Milwaukee Art Museum. His art was also included in the exhibition, “Visions from the Left Coast: California Self-Taught Artists,” in 1995. His works have been included in exhibitions at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico and the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. Simons has been represented by The Ames Gallery in Berkeley, California since 1994.