British artist Neil Simone creates stunning surrealist paintings that fuse reality with fantasy. His growing collection of trick-of-the-eye oil paintings depict his own canvases and easels merging with landscape scenes to create the illusion of paintings within paintings. Each artwork aims to captivate the viewer and lead them through “journeys into other worlds and the deepest corners of imagination.”
Born in London in 1947, Simone studied graphic design in art school. While working on an exhibition during the ‘60s, he visited Harrogate, England and discovered the beauty of North Yorkshire’s landscape. This visit inspired him to start painting, and four decades later the self-taught artist continues to evolve his distinctive style. “I paint the way that I do because I see the world as a dimension of shadows, shapes, contradictions and ever changing fragile boundaries,” explains Simone.
Simone’s clever use of shadow creates an impressive—and often mind-boggling—sense of depth. Similar to the Droste effect, when a picture repeatedly appears within itself, Simones artwork often does the same. In some of the dream-like paintings, landscape scenes seem to spill from their canvases and merge into their surrounding painted environments. Other pieces feature strange, three-dimensional illusions of canvases hung in “rooms” with angled walls and floors painted with realistic countryside scenes. In one piece, waves wash over wooden floorboards, leading to a canvas, propped against a wall that merges into the landscape it depicts.
Having recently celebrated 40 years as professional artist, Simone has exhibited in leading galleries all over the world. Today, he lives and works with his wife Heather, who is also a talented artist. The pair sell their work on their website as original pieces, signed prints, and giclée prints.