CHICAGO, IL.- Morgan Sims makes paintings and neon sculptures which playfully manipulate color and light.
Sims' paintings process and distort symbols and images into near abstraction, retaining just enough of the image to retain a rudimentary recognition. He thoughtfully extends the reach of methods such as pixillation, halftoning, and patterning through manual means which humanizes the painting so that there is a warmth and handmade quality.
Sims' neon sculptures extend these manipulations into three dimensions, using both spatial expansion and constraints to define presence. The bright colors of the glowing tubes of neon light pulse with life and subtle movement. Their shapes, made by bending and shaping the glass, emphasizing the handmade while remaining fully contemporary.
I have always been drawn to images and objects that invoke significant feelings. I might describe these feelings as melancholic or nostalgic, but they also trigger a variety of cognitive associations that develop into playful experimentation. My works, a result of this experimentation with images and everyday ephemera, become contextual and formal reinterpretations of visual culture. Ultimately, they reflect the intense connection I feel to my environment and my attempt to place, inform, and question the meaning and value of what we all see.
My paintings explore the familiar as it becomes unfamiliar. Composed of drips and distortions of color, they transform the mundane or ambiguous into unconventional symbols. Modeled loosely on advertisements, I juxtapose clean gridded order with a less predictable process and result. The results are abstract, yet they inform the viewer that something recognizable may have once existed.
My neon uses color and repetition to delineate and define space. Whether I am creating geometric, architectural forms or inviting viewers to look closer at the visuals of the medium itself, I am attempting to produce new experiences. The candy-colored nature of neon is inherently opposite to the urban decay that it is most commonly associated with. While it is still used commercially, neon is almost a lost art form. I enjoy working with neon because of this historical background, but I also focus on how the material functions free of associations - as an animated, bright, shapeable form, with a physical presence that emits light and color.