Review of Marcellin Simard’s Artwork, 2009
By Lea Rekow CEO of Santa Fe Center for Contemporary Art
“In analyzing the symbols of his dreams, one can clearly recognize Marcellin Simard’s intimate relationships. Although many dream symbols are archetypical–Marcellin’s remain highly personal. The symbolism of Marcellin’s work indicates his ongoing sublime investment with his familial and private world.”
“I read this work as the phenomenology of what’s presenting itself in Marcellin’s life. Belief creates experience. The inner creates the outer. And what’s going on in his inner form of consciousness manifests and reflects itself in the outer form of consciousness. The images are sort of like the internal action of an inner form of consciousness, and that gives us the impetus for its external form, which is the world in which he paints. That’s one of the reasons the imagery in Marcellin’s work is so strong. His images are the language not of his ‘real’–but of his truth.”
Marcellin Simard – Persistence of Vision
Persistence of Vision, a solo exhibition by Marcellin Simard in the Spector Ripps Project Space, will feature paintings, sculpture, and mixed-media installation. Transcending the barriers and constraints of daily reality, Simard conjures a hallucinatory and vertiginous world where nightmare fades to dream, children are warrior-saviors, and the fantastic is animated. Simard’s work treads a fine line of magic between peril and salvation.
Simard combines the people and situations of his waking life with deep subconscious explorations to create allegorical paintings. These contemporary fables are comprised of family and friends who weave stories alongside timeless icons: priestesses, demons, and -2-warriors. His sculptures are the stuff of shadow and fantasy—a sinister black VIPER with gnashing teeth, a fifteen-foot monster dipping deep below the gallery floor, black crows that transform to white doves.
As described by CCA Director Lea Rekow: “I read this work as the phenomenology of what’s presenting itself in Marcellin’s life. Belief creates existence. The inner creates the outer…That’s one of the reasons the imagery in Marcellin’s work is so strong. His images are the language of not his ‘real’—but of his truth.
Excerpts from ABQ Journal North Dec 25, 2009
By Harmony Hammond
“Nightmare in the Board Room (it’s the largest, most complex and I am told, the most recent). Painted in a flat illustrative style, it depicts a man in administrative suit and tie standing at the head of a long table brandishing a sword above his head (Dr. Simard?). Twelve skeletons dressed in clothing sit around the table at what I assume is a hospital board meeting, looking every which way, except at the man waving the sword. Their skulls are expressively rendered and modeled; however, the room and furniture are simplistically drawn in one point perspective. The paint surface – the result of glazing over scumbled layers of color – is rich and alive.”
Excerpts from Más New Mexico April 15, 2009
By Matthew Mehne
“Many artists have day jobs, but few of those jobs involve daily saving lives. Dr. Marcellin Simard, an Albuquerque physician whose decades of clinical work and research have lead to a flourishing career in cardiology, has found that his two passions, art and medicine, have a way of complementing each other.”
“‘Painting is my therapy,’ said Dr. Simard, who specializes in interventional cardiology and is the head of the Cardiac Care Unit at the Lovelace Medical Center. Through painting he is able to lay his innermost thoughts–including feelings of fear and frustration–out on the canvas. Though his interest in painting began as a personal quest, he never expected that his art would someday be on display in the Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Fe.”
Excerpts from Local IQ May 7, 2009
By Kevin Hopper
“Everything about Simard, a Frenchman and the youngest of 20 siblings, is lightning quick. His kinetic speech and thought processes–he jumps freely from one painting to the next, over-explaining the meaning of each–belies a versatility improvisational sensibility that lend themselves to his detached and eerily comfortable paintings.”
“‘In every single one of my paintings, there’s a head,’ Simard expounded. ‘It can be a god or a hero. They are… something stronger than you, something powerful that can help you achieve what you want to achieve. It’s kind of like your soul.”
“When it comes to creating art that bleeds sincerity, Simard is the kind of soul you want on your side.”