“A Day in the Life” with Montreal-based Visual Artist Simon Vine

Simon Vine is a visual artist from New Zealand. He grew up in the countryside just outside a small city on the west coast of New Zealand’s north island. Like all colonial kids, he grew up amid a unique layering of histories and traditions. His undergraduate studies were in Philosophy and English Literature, but it was his minors in Art History and Drama that took his attention, and many years later he returned to study and completed a Master of Fine Arts, with a focus on painting.

Between 1996 and now he has been involved in all sorts of collective spaces and projects, and travelled to and lived in a variety of places, from Japan to France, and from Canada to the Czech Republic.

His interests are rooted in the Western traditions of his education, works that he experienced mainly through textbooks until he made it to Europe. He is fascinated by the broad varieties of traditions and forms of expression in the world. It could be said that he is taken with the reasons people paint, and the ways artwork are seen, treated and used. Growing up as someone identified as the ancestor of Irish Catholic Immigrants, on an island known as an English colony, alongside Maori, whose culture is a big part of the NZ identity, provided an atmosphere of juxtaposed traditions, and a blending of ideas and images.

He lives now in Quebec with his wife Marie-Pierre, a Quebecoise who is also a visual artist.

Simon Vine
Taken at an event in Paris at La Cafeoteque
Simon Vine
The gypsies and the Girl, 10′ x 12.5″, 12′ x 18″, and 10′ x 12.5″ respectively.
Film Spooks, Triptych, acrylic on board, (each of the three approx) 10′ x 12.5″
Easter 1 and 2, Diptych, acrylic on board, 17′ x 29″
Celluloid Califias, Diptych, acrylic on board, (approx.) 33′ x 20″
Out riding on Île Sainte-Hélène
Simon Vine
Simon Vine
On the easel


Which ’hood are you in?

Currently, I’m living in Saint-Lambert with my wife Marie-Pierre. It’s a bike ride from the city and a quiet centre.

What do you do?

My day usually starts around 6 am with coffee, toast, the latest news, and some research and reflection. The day can take any direction from there. Ideas come for painting, writing, and other projects. For the moment ideas that are anything other than painting, drawing, or writing become part of a growing collection of thoughts and ideas, as do a great many of the images I collect in the course of my research. I share a studio space with Marie-Pierre who is also a visual artist, so space is of a premium. Another important part of the day is cycling, which provides me with exercise as well as mental space. I often ride around Île Sainte-Hélène, Île Notre-Dame, and le Vieux Montréal.

What are you currently working on?

Currently, I’m producing figurative paintings mainly from reference materials accumulated from the internet. The idea is one of collection and reinterpretation of ideas, ideologies, and objects alike. I collect materials from all over and think of ways of incorporating them into my practice. For example, I have collected a number of old frames of varying shapes, sizes, and styles, and am producing works that are on some level influenced by these frames and the periods they themselves invoke. My practice is a way of processing the altogether overwhelming experience of living in an age of hyper-stimulation and swift vivid information; an age in which the increasing use of AI to analyse and influence online behaviour is making Marshall McLuhan’s observation that “the medium is the message” more and more ominous.

Where can we find your work?

For the moment I am an online artist. My work can be found on my website, on Instagram, and on the Artists in Montreal website.


About Demian Vernieri 441 Articles
Demian is an Argentinian retired musician, avid gamer and editor for the Montréal Guardian, Toronto Guardian, Calgary Guardian and Vancouver Guardian websites.