Born in the cotton fields of West Texas, I was brought up in a world of conservatism, Protestantism and monoculture crop production. My current body of work explores these institutions (as disparate as they may seem) as deeply rooted, interwoven ideologies specific to Lubbock TX. These institutions construct a unique ecosystem where you will find shopping centers converted into Christian worship spaces, large pickup trucks with confederate flag decals, and 640-acre crop circles created by pivot irrigation systems.
Through art (and farming) I want to understand this place. To do so, I am turning the byproducts of this particular area– its symbols, behaviors and commodities - into a creative practice. I use materials and spaces relevant to the area, discarded plastic shopping bags, abandoned retail stores, pesticides and genetically modified cottonseed. With these materials I construct sculptural “props” which are implemented through performance, video, installation and painting. These props become performative tools that allow me to play with this space. I am finding that through play, I am able to re-envision my relationship to the ecosystem of Lubbock.
In the fall of 2014 Simpson attended Land Arts of the American West at Texas Tech University with architect Chris Taylor. Simpson’s artwork has been published in the 2014 edition of Harbinger, Student Journal of Literature and Art and the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts: The Little Black Book in 2011. Simpson received his BFA in Studio Art from Texas Tech University in 2013 and an MFA in Studio Art at the University at Buffalo in 2017. He is a current artist in residence at CASP in Lubbock TX