Yes, it's true, Canadian-born artist Benson Simmonds is a man on a mission - to create art that helps you awaken the power of your soul and through the process to meet his own true soul mate.
It's not the usual way to go about meeting girls, but then Simmonds, who is also an award-winning actor, jazz singer, and author of a new spiritual handbook also titled Soular Power, is not your usual artist. For example, what other painter blesses every canvas so that whoever views or buys it will become a happier, more soular powered person? "The more joyous soular powered actions you take, the closer you get to revealing your destiny. In my case that involves meeting the woman I want to share my life with. I think I'm finally ready to say "yes dear" and mean it!" chuckles Simmonds, who, like Anthony Qunin, Dennis Hopper, Tony Curtis and other well-known actor/painters, is completely self-taught. "I've taken huge risks in this show pushing my art to new limits and I'm excited to share my work with more and more people." Could one of these "people" be his true soul mate?
"Why not?," replies Nancy Larrew, maverick arts patron, artist and director of the newest Westside gallery, Blue Five Art Space . "Benson is an amazing painter and person – funny, full of life and joyously spiritual. I'm determined to help him gain the success and attention he deserves and the more attention he gets, the better the chance that we'll find his future wife. This will definitely be a feel-good show - Benson has that effect on people."
Inspired by such artists as Motherwell, Pollock, Kandinsky and the New York artists of the 40s and 50s, Simmonds first began painting and selling his artwork on the streets of New York 15 years ago but continued to develop his artistry while working as a successful actor. He had numerous sold out art shows in Canada and quickly drew the attention of prominent Vancouver art dealer Sergio Patrich who observed, "Benson's intuitive use of color and composition is truly remarkable and exhibits a spontaneity shared by many of our finest artists. For future investment potential and for sheer artistry, Benson Simmonds is a name to remember". And, "he's a great catch," adds budding matchmaker, Ms. Larrew.
Whatever you make of his motives, his bold, fresh canvasses are undeniably evocative, and his whimsical characters known as the "Soulbergs" will make you smile and warm your heart... or your head, if you purchase one of his hand-painted "Soulberg Family" yarmulkes.
The opening reception is Saturday, February 5, 2011 from 7pm - 11pm. So take your "soul" out on the town and check out Benson Simmonds' latest show, Soular Power. Oh.. and if you're single make sure you attend the special February 14th "meet your soul mate" event also at Blue Five Gallery.