Born in St. Louis, USA (1983), Erika Iris Simmons is a self-taught artist who focuses on using non-traditional, discarded and/or donated materials to create works of art. Specifically, she has a love for the archaic/nostalgia and uses materials such as sheet music, wine labels, money and old cassette tapes.
In her series titled “Ghost in the Machine”, she uses cassette tapes to create portraits of iconic celebrities, “associating the item with the people…” (Simmons) and blending “conceptual art with craft-making and popular culture” (Simmons). She states that her idea comes from a philosopher named Gilbert Ryle, who believes our spirit exists in our body. Simmons “imagine[s] we are all, like cassettes, thoughts wrapped up in awkward packaging” (Simmons).
What I like most about Simmons is that she “hope[s] that not everything which has outlived its use goes to waste” (Simmons). I am attracted to the idea of discovering new purposes for objects, as it focuses on exploring creativity and can reveal novel ideas such as the work of Simmons.
-2010: Simmons helped director Ethan Lader produce the music video “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars, which “received over 300 millions views on youtube” (iri5.com).
-2013: Simmons was “honored as the Official Artist for the 2013 Grammy Awards” (iri5.com).
-Past clients of Simmons: “The Times, Oprah Magazine, MAXIM, Levis Strauss & Co., Hermes, Showtime, and RayBan” (http://iri5.com/press/)