(More art on our Gallery Page)
(From Simonson's web site:)
Born and raised in the dry, dusty cattle country of the western U.S., Simonson was encouraged in his art by his mother, also an artist. When he was 19, Simonson left his home town of Thedford, Nebraska to move to Honolulu, Hawaii.
In Honolulu, Simonson studied art at the University of Hawaii and the Honolulu Academy of Art. He also drew, painted and studied voraciously on his own, absorbing the influence of such diverse masters as Velázquez, Vermeer, Rubens, Sorolla, Sargent, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Cézanne, Modigliani, Matisse and Picasso.
Although he'd been fascinated by the male figure for most of his life, his own fears and insecurities had kept him from exploring it in his art. But around 1980, Simonson put aside his fears and began focusing on the male nude as his primary subject matter.
At first he was concerned that the male figure might be too narrow a focus, that it might limit his growth as an artist. But the opposite proved to be true. For the first time, Simonson felt that he was painting what he had always been meant to paint. He found the male figure to be a continuous source of inspiration, and he began producing art—paintings, drawings, prints —with an energy and enthusiasm that he had never felt before.
Today Simonson is as committed to, and inspired by, the male figure as he was then. In the interim he has shared his art with hundreds of thousands of admirers, been interviewed in dozens of newspapers and magazines and on television and radio, has shown his work in many venues, and built a worldwide reputation.