With just days to go until we launch YOTEL London, we wanted to give you a little sneak peek inside our brand new hotel. We were lucky enough to collaborate with London-based urban pop artist, Rich Simmons on a one-of-a-kind mural to be displayed at the hotel entrance. Keep reading to find out a little more about Rich's work and inspiration behind his exclusive piece for YOTEL - London Reflections.
"I'm a storyteller so I want to create narratives inspired by love, hope, mental health, sexuality, politics, art, and anything else that inspires me" Rich Simmons
The woman in glasses is one of your signature artworks – is there a story behind it?
I like to tell stories with my art and having the girls in glasses react to things they see creates an emotional snapshot in time. You can sense what they feel when they see it, whether it's a view of London, or the Mona Lisa or superman kissing batman.
Tell us a bit about you and your background!
I moved to London 10 years ago to pursue my artistic dreams and I’ve been working pretty much non-stop since I got here. I've gotten to travel the world, exhibit my work in galleries and museums, and create street art in some amazing locations. I'm self-taught in art and business and I've used that to get myself into a unique position where I can look after my career and make my own decisions on creative direction.
How would you describe your style?
My work is a combination of pop art, street art and comic book art. I'm influenced by all these genres and try to combine them into something together which then looks like a Rich Simmons piece.
What inspires your art?
Everything inspires me! I'm a storyteller so I want to create narratives inspired by love, hope, mental health, sexuality, politics, art, and anything else that inspires me. Its important to always have an open mind and take inspiration anywhere you can get it.
Who is your biggest influence artistically?
My heroes are Leonardo da Vinci and Stan Lee. I try to take lessons from both in how I create a story, execute a painting, engineer the stencils, add layers of narrative and play with colour and proportions. They have both created legacies through their creativity and imaginations - those are the biggest lessons I've taken with me in my own life.
Where can people see more of your art?
Check out @richsimmonsart on Instagram or www.richsimmonsart.com to see my portfolio and more!