Philadelphia artist Danny Simmons is an author, poet, and painter—his style, he describes as Neo African Abstract Expressionism. His paintings are dynamic. The compositions blend abstraction and stylized imagery with saturated colors and detailed patterns that are accentuated by sweeping black lines. Simmons masterfully combines these elements into cohesively rendered paintings that are energetic and captivating. He has said, the inspiration for his work has been a “deep and unmistakable influence of African and Tribal arts,” in addition to his artistically talented family.
Simmons’s father was a poet, his mother a painter, brother Russell co-founded Def Jam Recordings, and his other brother Joseph “Rev. Run” is a founding member of Run-D.M.C. The trio of brothers are also active philanthropists as founders of the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, Philadelphia, “dedicated to providing disadvantaged urban youth with significant arts exposure and access to the arts.”
Simmons is also founder of Rush Arts Philly, “a community-driven art space that provides opportunities for local artists and curators focused on community revitalization relevant to the people of the surrounding neighborhoods along with arts-based educational opportunities for local youth…”
Since moving to Philadelphia 6 years ago, Simmons calls Philly his new home. “The love and the closeness of the artists that I’ve met here is so nurturing. I’m happy that I’ve been allowed to become a part of the great Philadelphia art scene and that is awesome and inspiring.”
Photo credit: Lawrence Hilton