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Ghostly Images: Art by Gary Simmons

A ghostly chalk image of the Madison Square Garden signFright Night, enamel on wood

Gary Simmons was born in New York and continues to live and work there. The artist’s work frequently incorporates text and a sense of movement, with images and words that seem I the process of moving quickly across a surface, leaving lines and trails of paint behind them.


A chalk and enamel mural painted in the Dallas Cowboys stadiumBlue Field Explosions, installation view in Dallas Cowboys stadium

Simmons frequently uses text stencils that seem to be smudged, as if the artist was too impatient to let them dry properly. He also works a lot in chalk, especially on a large scale. The artist creates drawings of various images and pieces of text on the walls of a gallery or other space, then smudges and partially erases the chalk, leaving behind ghostly images.


Unlike other artists creating art exploring the inner workings of a city and the culture therein, Simmons looks specifically at New York and his own experiences. The text and smudged look seems to reference graffiti, while half-erased chalk drawings could be interpreted as references to public school. Some of our website artists also have takes on ghostly chalk art. 


A wall mural of smudged words written in chalkUntitled

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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