Opens April 21st, 8-11p ~ Merry Karnowsky Gallery ~ 170 S. La Brea Avenue (in the ART 170 Building)

Any time Greg “Craola” Simkins has an exhibition, you must get ready to be amazed, amused, and blown away by this singular artist’s vision and technique. Raised in L.A. but existing only on planet Craola, this show promises to be one you won’t forget.

“As a child I used to play a game, which involved nothing more than lying on my back, staring at the sky. As the clouds formed and floated by, my imagination inserted characters into the story unfolding before my eyes. These clouds became the catalyst for what would become a lifelong compulsion to daydream and slip into other worlds merely by being outside.

While working out ideas for this exhibit, it became clear that clouds would be the foundation for each piece. By bringing them into the foreground and making them the framework for my ideas, I quickly discovered how “The Outside”—this world that I have created for myself—has consumed my subconscious. After years spent buried in books, learning about animals and oddities, heroes and villains, truth and fiction, “The Outside” has become an assortment of bizarre morphing creatures, winged observers, antique odds and ends, and tentacled heroes who have become my friends over the years. Simultaneously, “The Outside” has illuminated my secret desire of escaping this world with its politics, its trappings, and its stresses. These pieces serve as an intermission from the struggles of our world and bring back the heart of a kid, lying on his back, interpreting what he sees in the clouds, completely and utterly carefree.”

-Greg Simkins