Part I | From the Beginning
Anthony Sims is a 23-year-old creative genius from Southaven, Mississippi currently based in Dallas. From the street to canvas to NFTs and glitch art as his mediums, his enigmatic intelligence radiates visually and in conversation. With intense passion for the engineering layer of innovations, Anthony’s multifaceted talent studies the abstraction of architectural metamorphosis.
His first distinct memory of his desire to pursue the arts was in second grade, where he was an accelerated student in the Mississippi Spotlight Program. During an art course, he was introduced to an artist who was “the first to put paper on paintings, to crumble up a piece of paper and glue it onto a canvas, and it made a 3D effect.”
Anthony was mesmerized that people had the ability to create their own art forms, and remembers, “my second-grade self was like, ‘I want to achieve that before I die…I want to do something new with art.’”
“Essentially since I’ve been existing I was trying to innovate, even with the naivety of being a five-year-old, I was still trying to make stuff, to push stuff forward.”
Anthony always believed that one can be a master of many fields. He recalls, “I always had this feeling my whole life that you could be a master in multiple fields, you don’t have to just be a jack of all trades, but you could be a master of all things.”
Part II | Behind the Artwork
The artist categorizes his meta-expressionist NFTs as glitch art. In 2021, Anthony’s first year dropping NFTs, he categorized his work as New School Expression because of the digital wave of artwork. He briefly called it Internet Expression, but he truly defines it as glitch art.
Anthony’s paintings are “Southern American, hip-hop, and blues. It initially comes from blues, that’s where this chaotic kind of dark feeling comes from. But I like to say it is refined by hip-hop because it is the poetry I am using…oftentimes the music I am listening to…even though it comes from this place of the Delta Blues.”
Anthony grew up in the heart of southern culture, where live music was always playing–mostly the blues. He didn’t realize how much it had impacted him until he moved to Dallas. “Three years ago is way different than now because now I have more of an understanding of where the actual soul of it is coming from. Versus then I was just making it and I wasn’t totally sure what I was doing, I just knew I needed to be doing it.”
In 2006, Anthony’s father was deported back to Mexico. By seven years old, he was seeking the missing father figure in his life through innovators and musicians, who subsequently influenced elements of Mexican culture that he was not old enough to absorb.
Anthony credits several Christian Hip-Hop artists with teaching him imperative skills and manners, largely because one of the main tropes of the genre is the lack of a father figure in one’s life. One musician, Propaganda, a christian hip-hop artist from LA, taught him Spanish through his songs. Another strong musical influence is Lacrae. Anthony gleamed as he explained, “He taught me a lot about what it meant to be a man in terms of “doing good by society, keep your word, look someone in the eyes when you shake their hand…the stereotypical stuff that he put in his music.”
While not visually obvious when looking at his work, his lack of a father figure is embedded in his art, matched with the morals and genres of music that are instrumental to his masterpieces.
Part III | Creative Process
While interning at Helen of Troy in 2019, Anthony was given a sharpie and assigned to check the fire extinguishers around the OXO warehouse. With his writing utensil, he began to draw mouths on boxes in the space, which birthed his logo.
Anthony’s creative process begins with color, while the numbers and words you observe are largely a product of a lack of inspiration. His figures oftentimes are the final touches to the composition. Anthony explained that they often are placed to hide things he doesn’t necessarily like about the pieces.
Anthony toys with the concepts of being mindful and out-of-body when he creates. He explains that thinking too hard can cause more negative than positive, saying, “There's times when I go in the studio and I'm making stuff without thinking and then there's times when I go in and all I can do is think so it's like creativity versus just like stuck in my own brain again.”
Anthony’s attention is mostly towards balancing colors, explaining that, “My paintings come to me in blotches of color.” He takes inspiration from random epiphanies that he describes as “if I had an eyeball inside my head and an eyeball outside my head.”
His biggest practice tools are his sketchbooks, which is primarily where he formulates his characters. Anthony explicates the later portion of his process in relation to his characters, illustrates that, “if they're really cool, then I'll continuously pull them up… if I make a character and I really like the way it looks, but I cover it in like 10 different boxes of color, I'll just find the lines and kind of outline it again and bring it forward.”
Part IV | Finding His Place
In 2019, Anthony was indirectly homeless. At the time, his boss rejected Anthony’s request to work full-time, so the talented artist took his vacation days and drove 16 hours from Mississippi to New York. There, he met Diane Vauchier, who ran Steve Kaufman’s art and licensing, the assistant to Andy Warhol in the 1980’s. Vauchier offered Anthony a spot in the American Pop Art Collective, which he joined during his short few days in Manhattan, and left the collective at the end of 2020.
Since then, Anthony has been back to New York where he’s been able to spend time with a homeless street artist, Rosae. He recalls his time with Rosae as a “spiritual thing,” and hitting “closer to home than I thought it would,” recalling his financial and living situations at the time when he had first visited.
Today, Anthony is a successful artist of several mediums, and is thriving in Dallas, Texas. He is also a rising figure in the NFT space, most notably SuperRare, where his animated piece “I am not sure. I am certain” sold for just over $99,000. The ethereal talent of Anthony Sims is everlasting, and he uses his platform to teach and host shows across the United States.