Cezanne Room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Ground Zero

If I know how to paint, this is where I learned it. It was on this very spot when I was in the ninth grade, that I learned how to paint. At least I saw how to paint and I have spent the last many years learning it. I am still so early in my knowledge and development. I see this work and it reminds me that I’ve always wanted to live long enough to mature as a human being. There is no rush. Life will take you where you are going. The Chess Players in the middle is for me perhaps the perfect painting. As Gogol’s, The Overcoat may be the perfect story. Find those people who make no disguises for life, who present it without sentiment or cleverness. Art is not cleverness, language is not even for cleverness. There is the Tao, there is the French Man Cezanne, The Russian Gogol, The Minnesotan Dylan… etc the list is long and short.

Aviva Stone – Series Available

A series of 9 – 8″x8″ charcoal drawings of the locally famous figure model Aviva Stone. This series is available as a single piece. Each image is matted, framed and signed. If you have any questions or would like to inguire about the price, please fill out the form below. Thank you.

Aviva Stone, 9 - 8"x8" drawings, Charcoal on Acid Free Paper 2007

Aviva Stone Series Installed

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Flatiron, Oil on Board, Cover, City Journal Spring 2009

City Journal Cover

On the cover: Simon Levenson’s Sunset(2009), one of a triptych of oil paintings of the Flatiron Building in New York City. For more information about Levenson’s work, consult www.simonlevenson.com or call Bottoms Fine Art at (805) 695-0888. Courtesy of the artist.

Simon Levenson - Artwork for Beach 60th Street Subway Station - 2010

Arts For Transit Commission – Sample

This is a sample block, shot on an angle, of the artwork I am creating for the Beach 60th Street Station for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The artwork will be permenantly installed in July, 2010. This is one of 400 glass blocks with my artwork painted on it.

Simon Levenson - Artwork for Beach 60th Street Subway Station - 2010

New Gouache Section

I have been working with the medium of Gouache recently and I have to say I have been having a blast with it. I have been adding oil pastel, charchoal, pencil and ink. This is the most recent endeavor as I plan for a show in September at Bottoms Fine Art  Gallery in Santa Barbara, California.

Gouache, Pencil, Charcoal  on Board, 10x17, 2009

Pen and Parchment: Drawing in the Middle Ages

The Metropolitan Museum has put on another amazing drawing show. This one is called; Pen and Parchment: Drawing in the Middle Ages.

So many things about this show had a great influence on me but I will try to name just a few. The first is the intimacy of the work. Viewers must lean nose-close to the glass encased books to absorb all the rich details and incredible craftsmanship on display. It is hard to comprehend, to my modern mind, the level of graphic knowledge, creativity and daring the artisans practiced. Perhaps the sum total of our current knowledge is less than a fraction of what has been lost since the masters worked.

As an artist who loves to draw, I was overjoyed with the fact that drawing and writing, held such an important place in the Middle Ages. Drawing reached an amazing height in Renaissance, Italy but was not considered an art in itself. It was more of a trade secret closely guarded, where masters worked out problems for sculpture, architecture and painting. It is a modern notion that a drawing can be a masterpiece in itself and hung on a wall as a piece of art. Yet in the Middle Ages, drawings held a very important place in book and print arts, illuminating and illustrating stories, from creation tales to astrology. It is so moving to connect through the love of this craft with those from so long ago.

Finally, the inventiveness in both technique and subject matter is quite frankly “wild”. There is no limit to the unbelievable graphic daring to the images. Note the picture of the descendants of Jesus. This reminds me of Americana art, Folk art, African art, or Naive art. As far as subject matter, the show is filled with wild astrological imagery mixed with religious work which was a surprise to me. But as a student of basic anatomy I fell in love with these wonderful images. Which reminds me of something I read by DaVinci, claiming that the sixth sense, was where the other five senses met up and were processed and this sense was called the common sense as it was made of all the others.

The images show a completely different world, and understanding of the world. I was transported in my imagination to monks quarters where they toiled by candle or day light creating the masterpieces that many hundreds of years later still speak to your eyes like a whisper does to your ears. What I would give to flip the pages of these amazing books often containing almost five hundred pages but only revealing one in this special show.

Graphic Design For Via Emilia

This is a graphic design for an Italian (Modenese) restaurant. It will be used as their large outdoor banner as well as other printed material. I based my design on the main windows of the duomo in Modena where the owner is from. The colors come from the interior of the restaurant.

Graphic Design for Via Emilia Restaurant - Simon Levenson

If you are interested in hiring me to work on a graphic design, please fill out the form below with a brief description on your project. Thank you.