Gray Simpson
b. 1975 in Liverpool
Lives and works in Brighton, UK

Gray received his BA(Hons) Fine Art from Bradford School of Art in 1998. His diverse body of work included life-size figure drawings alongside diaristic text, candid photography, and immersive video installations. Over the next three years, he took part in a number of group exhibitions in Yorkshire, some of which he curated and designed all the advertising. His work also featured in 'The Bradford Open' at Cartwright Hall, where he was awarded first prize.

In 2001, Gray relocated to Brighton, where he continued to exhibit and curate before making the conscious decision to shift focus and pursue a career in graphic design. In the years that followed, he gained experience by working at a number of award-winning design studios, honing his skills, knowledge and foundation within the industry.

Gray made the bold move to open his own design studio in 2015, and the success of this endeavour granted him greater autonomy and creative freedom. With this newfound independence, he moved beyond the computer screen to embark on a series of self-initiated projects that marked a return to drawing and the physicality of traditional media. 

Having reconnected with his art practice he decided to teach himself how to paint in oils as he was drawn to the expressive qualities of the medium and its rich history. Jenny Saville, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, and Euan Uglow are among his major influences, as are the Baroque masters Rembrandt, Velázquez, and Caravaggio. 

Gray's multi-layered figure paintings are driven by self-narrative and informed by psychological theories which stress the importance and responsibility of the individual in shaping their own life. He says: "I'm interested in how the process - materials, brushwork, layering and scraping - can carry meaning. I want how I paint and what I paint to be just as important as each other in expressing my ideas and emotions".

1998, BA(Hons) Fine Art, Bradford School of Art

Selected Exhibitions:
2004, 'Post Everything' (Group), The Permanent Gallery, Brighton, UK 
2003, 'Lo-Res' (Group)The Freebutt, Brighton, UK
2001, 'Feeling is Everything' (Group), Gallery II, Bradford, UK
2000, 'Plan 27' (Group), Yorkshire Arts & Craft Centre, Bradford, UK 
2000, 'Vim & Vigour' (Group), S1 Artspace, Group show, Sheffield, UK
1999, 'Young Professionals' (Group), Love Apple Cafe, Bradford, UK
1999, 'Don't Come Easy' (Group), E-Street Arts, Leeds, UK
1999, 'Unconditional Love' (Group), Priestley Centre for the Arts, Bradford, UK
1998, 'Bradford Open' (Group), Cartwright Hall, Bradford, UK
1998, 'Dilute to Taste' (Group), Windows Gallery, Bradford, UK
1998, 'Virgin Exhibitionists' (Group), Delius Lived Next Door, Bradford, UK

2020, Longlisted, Jackson's Painting Prize, UK
2016, Longlisted, Jackson's Painting Prize, UK
2003, Professional Development Grant, Arts Council of England, UK
1998, Winner, Bradford Open, Cartwright Hall, Bradford, UK

Publications & Press:
Croft, Tom. Portraits for NHS Heroes. UK: Bloomsbury Caravel (2020)
'Artist Interview: Gray Simpson' in After the Break (1998), Bradford, UK

Gray Simpson features in various national and international private collections.

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