Sucker for Pain
Kristin Simmons is a painter, printmaker, and silkscreen artist born in 1989 in New York . She graduated from Columbia University in 2012 with a BA in Studio Art and Art History. She received several prestigious awards including the Orra White Hitchcock and National Endowment of the Arts Award.
She grew up in New York, and her experience of the culture of excess is her major inspiration. Simmons used the internet, books and pop culture to appropriate source images for her work before blending these images with childhood toys and objects in her studio. Her Senior Thesis at Columbia University, was a re-interpretation of the canonical children’s board game 'Candy Land'. Her art tends to explore the conflation and confusion of two languages: the simplicity of a child’s, and the overwrought complexity that exposure to mass media imposes.
She currently lives and works in New York.
Her art undermines sexuality, exploitation, violence, gun culture, and all the other painful aspects of consumerism. In doing so, Kristin Simmons wisely engages with a complexity of contemporary society. Her work is eye-catching, playful, and polemical. The discussion and debate surrounding her chosen themes (drugs, capitalism, guns) are never not politicized and divisive. But, her work never moralizes, even if it provokes and polarizes.