“I am Because You Are” is an exhibition of 30 portraits of artists on show in May at London’s Panter & Hall gallery – creators who have been influential to 2000AD artist Simon Davis, from his childhood to now. These range from book illustrators to comic artists and fine artists.
“It’s my first ever solo show and it’s been four years in the making,” says Simon, “so it’d be great to see you there.”
Born in Stratford upon Avon, Simon Davis studied for a diploma in technical illustration before going onto concentrate on illustration and graphic design at Swindon College of Art. Working life began as a graphic designer and freelance illustrator of books and magazines but he soon moved into comics work in the early 1990s.
Simon now divides his time between portrait painting and comic book illustration for 2000AD, most recently on the contemporary horror story, ”Thistlebone”, written by Tom Eglington. His fully-painted work for the title has been collected into numerous books worldwide and he believes that the discipline of his comic-strip work complements his oil painting, allowing him to produce “dynamic” images in an “economical way”.
(Simon will also be at this year’s Lawless convention in Bristol in late May and previously announced he would be bringing all the artwork for “ThistleBone: Poisoned Roots” to the event for sale, the only place he will be selling it).
He paints using oils and mainly square brushes, working from the photographs that he takes of his sitters. In 2008, he was runner up in the BP Portrait award and that same year was elected as a member of the Royal Society of Portrait painters (RP). He was their Vice-President from 2014 to 2021.
For 2000AD, Simon was also a major contributor to the “Missionary Man” strip with writer Gordon Rennie, and to “Sinister Dexter” with Dan Abnett. He painted the Sinister and Dexter duo’s first full-length story, “Gunshark Vacation”, described by then-editor David Bishop as “a big fat hit”. He has also been the sole illustrator on a number of other stories, including “Black Siddha” and “Stone Island”.
Simon’s choice of work is always eclectic and this includes storyboarding music videos for the likes of Tori Amos and Muse, designing a tattoo for Alex Garland’s film Annihilation and painting the poster for Ben Wheatley’s film, Happy New Year, Colin Burstead.
His work is in collections all over the world and is exhibited widely.
• Simon Davis: I Am Because You Are | 10th – 20th May 2020 Panter & Hall, 11-12 Pall Mall! London SW1Y 5LU | Open Monday to Friday: 10.00am – 6.00pm | Saturdays: 11.00am – 2.00pm | Closed bank holidays | Exhibition details on Facebook | Panter & Hall: www.panterandhall.com