John E. Simms is a nationally renowned artist, who has influenced Indianapolis art by becoming part of the permanent collection at the Indianapolis Art Center. His work, “Imploding Cube,” is nestled among the trees and flowers at the ARTSPARK. It adds a surreal quality to the natural setting through the suggestion of man made objects infringing on nature.
John Simms described himself as a direct metal sculptor. Fascinated by geometric shapes and patterns, he strives to manipulate circles, triangles and rectangles. On his website he describes his process:
“I often wake in the middle of the night full of creative energy, and run into the studio as my mind processed and manipulates geometric and mathematical surfaces. I cut, bend, and weld steel with a passion driven by the need to physically realize what I see so clearly in my mind.
While the resulting maquette might weigh as much as 50 pounds, and would be appreciated by many as a finished piece, it is but a fraction the size of what I envision as its final form.”
John Simms thinks big. “Imploding Cube” alone has measurements that are larger than life. At 9’x12’x9′, this work of art is mammoth. Its over powering size dwarfs any man, woman or child in its presences forcing audience to take stock of their own size in relation to the world around them. Only the trees surrounding this metal sculpture stand as tall, as if in competition for space and visibility. His giant metal cube revolves on a single corner, as if to defy the laws of physics that keep it standing tall.
John Simms is interested in mass, weight, strength and balance as he creates his metal masterpieces. Students at the Marilyn K. Glick School of Art marvel at Simms statement from their studio windows, drawing on his work and the work of other artists like Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse for inspiration as they create their own master works.
John Simms has work all around the world, but none appreciated so much as what lives in the Circle City. The burgeoning visual art community in Indy benefits from having sculptors like John Simms represented in the cities backyard. Patrons of Broad Ripple Village and walkers along the Monon Trail can not help but be dazzled by the monumental metal cube that seems to perpetually implode on itself.
Original work, like that of John Simms, which speckles Indianapolis is made possible through the hard work of the Indiana Arts Commission, the Arts Council of Indianapolis, and the Lilly Endowment Fund. Without these vital Indianapolis nonprofit organizations, our fair city would not be the cultural haven that it is.
The next time you are looking for something fun to do in Indianapolis, or for you next day trip to Indianapolis, consider stopping by the ARTSPARK, where you will see man and nature compete for focus. For more information on the art of John E. Simms, check out his website here. Art is of value to all great societies. Hoosiers stand tall among other cultural centers across the country because of work like that of John Simms.
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