Bio by Vikki Warner
Torn, disused billboards, distressed industrial objects, street posters, and everyday uses of graphics, logos, and letterforms fuel constant idea generation for Rich DeSimone. Ideas come 24-7. They roll around in his mind, combine, and are tossed out and re-imagined. A few percolate to the outside where they become art prints, works on panel, and posters. Middle-class Italian altar boys from Boston donít usually see a clear-cut path to creative freedom. Rich’s upbringing, typically strict for the area, saw him looking more deeply into simple objects than other kids did. Church was a drag sometimes, but he found some interesting images there, from little dove drawings and typography on the psalm book to the priests’ robes and the graphic power of the cross. It wasn’t zealousness he found in Catholicism, but a first inkling that he would make art.
After not quite graduating from the Art Institute of Boston, Rich took a spin through the advertising world, where he created icons to assist a religion of a very different kind. Turns in Atlanta and Minneapolis, and always back to Boston in between, gave him insight into the ad world. From huge, stifling agencies to smaller, edgier ones. Wherever he was, the ad business was full of egotism and limitation, though, and Rich wanted to realize his ideas without having them diluted.
Today, he’s shaken free of the ad race and runs his own art and screen printing business, Lucky Bunny Visual Communications, out of Los Angeles, California. In his workspace he gets complete control over the process, and the satisfaction of a hands-on craft. His work is often simple and purely graphic, with a tongue-in-cheek slyness that belies a deeper conceptual background. The idea of duplicity and expendability of printing multiples that end up scattered and potentially thrown aways key. It’s branding, only with cleaner goals. There’s no smoke and mirrors, no smug secret, to what Rich does: it’s just a million ideas, combined, altered, thrown out, and executed with a little humor and cunning.
The Lucky Bunny name, by the way, comes from his pet rabbit, who coincidentally is adorable yet destructive, smart and sensitive.