San Francisco Bay Area artist Elly Simmons (America, b. 1955) works with a wide variety of material, including paint, pastel, mosaic, and lithographic stone. Her concern with political and social issues such as the abuse of women, homelessness and the struggle of all peoples for lives of dignity are often merged in her work with fascinating expressions of deeply felt mythic and personal imagery.
La Mujer - The Challenge
W 28 1/2” H 22”
Silkscreen, Signed, 1995
Ann Frank - Hope
APP Signed - $650
Abraham Lincoln Brigade
Original Collage, Signed - $1,500
APP Signed - $400
W 22" H 30"
Painting - $3,500
APP - $650
Black Sun: Homage to Paul Robeson
Artist Proof, Original Silkscreen, Signed - $1,750
APP Signed - $650
W 28 1/2” H 22”
Artist Proof, Original Silkscreen, Signed & Numbered, 1994 - $1,750
Simmons exhibits internationally and has her work in numerous public and private collections, including The National Museum of Women in the Arts, The Smithsonian Institution, The New York Public Library Department of Prints and Drawings, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Harlem, New York, The Center for Study of Political Graphics, Los Angeles, The Skirball Museum, Los Angeles, and the Washington Hebrew Congregation. Private collections include The Packard Foundation, Taj Mahal, Eduardo Galeano, Robin Williams, Pete Seeger, David and Kirsten Swimmer, Andrew and Joan Kelman, Roselyn Swig, Gerald Davis, Rosalie Sorrells and President Barak Obama.
She has exhibited and has works in public and private collections in Iraq, England, Egypt, Russia, Poland, Japan, Ireland, Canada, Argentina, Costa Rica, Mexico, Australia, and all across the United States.
States Gary Kamiya, editor of San Francisco Magazine and author of The Cool Grey City of Love, in The San Francisco Chronicle:
"An artist who strives to address the problems of his or her time faces a tricky aesthetic balancing act. Explicitly political art often has all the depth and subtlety of a megaphone exhortation. But at its' best, engaged art stirs both the soul and the mind, revealing the ineluctable connection between the world of the streets and the universe of the spirit, magically embodying Keats' dictum that beauty is truth and truth beauty. Elly Simmons' work achieves this rare feat. It is an extraordinary blend of political passion; and artistic complexity. Her paintings wed medium and message perfectly, outrage never collapses into propaganda, nor does her work's dreamlike vitality, its' formal elegance, dilute its' fervor."
Words from Dublin, Ireland art critic, painter, and music producer Gerald Davis:
"Joy", "celebration" and humor" are words that seem to be less and less used in the vocabulary of modern art. This is all the more reason that we should welcome the work of Elly Simmons. Her work is full of affirmation of life. Her paintings, graphics, and tapestries bring vitality and color wherever they are seen. Informed, since childhood, by studying the work of major Mexican, European and American artists, she takes her own experience of life in California, the climate, nearby Mexico, Central and South America, indigenous Northwest Native American art and her own Jewish culture and combines them to create her idiosyncratic vision. Art critic Harry Roche synthesized her work with the term "World Art Wave".
The accessibility of her work belies the technique that goes into making it. Whether she is using paint, designing tapestries or creating lithographs, she has mastered the craft she chooses to use. She has created her own iconography. For the children's book, "Just Like Me", when asked to explain to children what inspires her to paint, she states, "I paint my love of life! I paint pomegranates, birds, mountains and people. I paint what gives me joy, or makes me sad or mad, I paint to protest homelessness, war, and injustice, and to celebrate the beauty of a sunflower outside my door."