Interview by Mark Tamer
Siméon Artamonov is a London-based artist and web designer. He works mostly with oil paint, and his bright depictions of everyday surroundings and abstract landscapes have been exhibited both in person and online. IMA got to find out what he’s been up to during lockdown and how he is managing his practice during these difficult times.
© Siméon Artamonov
Can you tell us about yourself and what it is you do?
I’m a French artist, currently based in London. I work principally with oil paint, mixed media and digital techniques. I have been exhibiting my work since 2016.
My paintings feature bold colours and geometric shapes, whether I’m working on a portrait, an imaginary landscape, or simply an abstract piece. I grew up with musician parents who really encouraged my creativity; the energy and movement I conjure up through shapes and colour is my way of recalling this musical, rhythmic quality.
I'm always playing with colours and patterns, exploring how I can use them for intricate details or a much more abstract scene.
You recently hosted two online exhibitions: a solo show (Reminiscence) in October 2020 and a group show (Online Winter Show) over the festive period. Can you tell us about this experience of online exhibitions? How was it? Was this in response to Covid restrictions? Any pros and cons you can share?
Sure! Reminiscence was a first for me. It was a great opportunity to combine my digital design skills with my painted work, and I'm still really pleased with how it came out and the interest it generated. I designed the online art viewing platform "view.artsime.com" [link below] myself.
I wanted to avoid a ‘cold’ website, so instead I focused on a simple online experience that provided a more personal approach to the show. Beyond just viewing the works on screen, I wanted people to really ‘feel’ the exhibition and have that same physical experience you get walking into a gallery. It was a project I was really invested in; I also did artist tours via Zoom and offered private visits for my collectors, for instance. I was keen that the show was oriented towards people, and I think that’s the reason it’s worked so well.
Reminiscence online show © Siméon Artamanov
I hosted the show online as a response to the current situation. The pros are that you're fully in control of your show. The cons are you need to generate traffic by yourself; it’s not always easy and is a lot of extra, time-consuming work.
Then in December I organised the Online Winter Show, which was an online group exhibition of paintings and drawings by seven UK-based artists (myself included). The fact it was a group show required a m