Joel Simpson

New Jersey native, Joel Simpson, has been photographing since he was a teenager in the p1960s. A 35mm amateur for most of his life—while he gained a doctorate in literature from Brown; taught college English, French and Italian; pursued jazz piano for 22 years and created prize-winning multi-media music software (Dick Hyman’s Century of Jazz Piano CD-ROM) that sold worldwide—he began photographing in medium format in 2002, and digital in 2005. Since 2002 he has shown in nine New York and area galleries, two in Texas, and one each in Massachusetts, Colorado, Detroit and Seattle. His work has been published in Camera Arts (Fort Collins, CO), View Magazine (Brussells), and in The World’s Greatest Erotic Art of Today, volume II (ES Publishing, Miami, FL, 2008), and extended articles in Silvershotz (Dec. 2011 and Focus (digital, June, 2012). His first European show was in Barcelona in the spring of 2008 (Jean-Paul Perrier Gallery) consisting of three of his Virtual Sculpture series, and since then has had two shows in France, in Tours as part of Photofolies en Touraine (11 works, Oct–Nov. 2008) and at the Musée de l’érotisme in Paris (Oct. ‘08–March ‘09, 50 works of Virtual Sculpture), which has included two of his works in their permanent collection.

Major themes in Simpson’s work include sublime earthforms, the body, political passion, irony and illusion, prehistoric sculpture, and spontaneous human interaction, among others. His most original work features “virtual sculpture” and “virtual hyper-garments,” both of which are versions of body projection, in which the illusion is created that a living body is made of stone, wood or other materials, or that it is wearing improbable garments made of paster baroque ornaments, a delaminated windshield, grafitti walls, or New Guinea shields. His travel is invariably in search of geological wonders, which he presents as found abstract art.


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