Ian Simons, the mindful artist, mind expanding philosopher and mind-blowing individual looks suspiciously at the voice recorder.

“It is very difficult speaking to a mass audience … ” With Simons the ellipsis comes in very handy.
He takes his time when answering questions and his sentences often drift into incomprehensible mumbling. One nonetheless gets the impression that he has much more to say than what he lets on.
“Sometimes I think things … And then I disagree with myself … ”

He laughs shyly.

The 48-year-old Van Riebeeckshof resident asks questions in his paintings, but as with the questions he asks of life, there seems to be no clear answer.
Most of his majestic art is based on classical principles, but in the place of a flower or a book, the subject will now hold a gun.
This theme comes up in several of his artworks, so the obvious question is: “What are you implying here?”

Simons takes a few long seconds to get his ducks in row, so to speak, laughs and answers: “There’s obviously the anti … the war kind … there’s women with guns … it’s the male fight, you know, the … what’s going on in the world. Getting back to the heart, the feminine … Why am I struggling to speak?”

He giggles.

“When I paint something I see an image, and I was looking through this book and saw this classical subject and thought she needs a gun in her hand!”
He continues by saying it’s the mind, or “the mind in separation” which causes people to live in disharmony and fear.
One cannot help but think that Simons has something grand to share with the world, but getting him to reveal it is something of a challenge. It was this reporter’s view that a glass of red wine might release Simons from his recorder-phobia, but another likelihood was that it might also have exacerbated his indecision.

“The darkness is unknown and evil arises out of the fear of darkness. Ignorance is apparently bliss,” he says before attending to the dogs and cats.
“If your mind is … Moses!” he calls his cat.
“If your mind is … Oh, I’ve lost my train of thought.”

He stays quiet for several beats.

“If you can control your thought, and not let your thoughts control you then you can be happy. If you think stressful thoughts then you create it. The mind creates guilt or fear. That is the illusion. The illusion of what’s going on!”
Despite being highly analytical, Simons reckons “mental interference” gets in the way of his art.
“I usually paint when I’m in a Zen place. I try to keep the … My mind, I can … Well, we can all quiet our minds and still use it as a tool … Some identify too much with their own perceptions of themselves … ”

He giggles again.

The interview lasted an hour and a half, but the sure truth buried just underneath the surface of Simons’ demeanour stayed hidden.
Enlightened nuggets of society, art and the mind mixed almost flawlessly with his scattered frame of mind. He is a truly unique individual with streaks of genius, but understanding his viewpoint is very much like a game of “connect the dots”. Words are, however, not his forté. It is Simons’ art that speaks volumes.

For information on purchasing some of these outrageously meticulous works of art, contact him on 076 472 5664.