Robert Sims is a 19-year-old visual artist that lives in Mississippi, but is an active participant in the Memphis art scene. He plans to have his first official show this year and is excited about doing so. We talked to Robert about why he calls his style “Manufactured Expressionism,” his inspirations and his aspirations. Check out a gallery of Robert’s work below and be sure to read our interview that follows.
Click any of the above images to open a gallery of Robert’s work.
Describe your style of work.
I call my art style Manufactured Expressionism or “ME.” The idea is that even though the art produced by ME seems to be abstract with no method to its madness, the product is manufactured. A single painting, in theory, takes less than twenty minutes to create. However, the paintings may take hours or even days to finish. Usually loosely painted with a highly abstract appearance, my paintings are my main form of expressing my own emotions.
Describe your creative process. How do you start a new piece?
The process starts with whatever color I feel inclined to use or have the most of to create a background. I’ll immediately get to work and paint the first thing on my mind. If the painting passes its inspection, then it will be considered a finished product. If the painting fails inspection, then it gets resent to the background process. Usually, the previous background stays and gets incorporated into the next piece rather than entirely painted over. The assembly line process continues until the painting reaches a grade that is satisfactory. Due to the number of restarts that occur each painting will gain a messy, chaotic, and disorganized feel.
What is it that inspires you most?
This question is one of the most interesting questions I have been asked and to be entirely honest my inspiration comes from fear and regret. I am terrified that if I do not chase my dreams and decide to live a comfortable life that I will regret it all. I want to be great at something, so I have dedicated my life to creating. I go to school for engineering and create art full time so that I can provide the world with something useful one day. I would like to be an inspiration to other creators like Jimi Hendrix, Mod Sun, Bob Dylan, Basquiat, Warhol, Tesla, Edison, Leonardo da Vinci, and George Washington Carver were inspirations to me.
What does art mean to you?
Art to me is anything that requires effort. To elaborate… Whatever I create is art if it took time and I enjoyed the process. That’s all art is, a journey you enjoy.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Honestly, with my artistic career, I’ll probably remain local. There are so many great artists out there that the odds of me becoming utterly successful are slim. I do dream of being an artistic genius, but I keep it real with myself. I’m just a 19-year-old who struggles expressing himself, so I paint.