New York, New York2010
In 2009 Joe was commissioned by P&O to create a series of paintings for their new superliner 'Azura'. He was asked to create eight large scale canvases for the New York inspired show lounge - 'Manhattan'. Joe spent a year painting the series 'New York, New York' which launched on the liner in April 2010. Azura is longer than two football pitches, weighs one hundred and sixteen thousand tons and will carry over three thousand passengers around the world to exotic locations such as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.
"I'm always interested in trying to make my work look and feel 'cinematic'. For this series I tried to depict bold and romantic scenes from New York, with references to the unique iconography of the city - yellow taxi cabs, neon lights and looming skyscrapers. I spent a long time watching classic movies set in New York for inspiration, from Woody Allen to Martin Scorsese. In February 2009 I visited New York in preparation for the paintings and took over a thousand photographs to use as source material.
It's a great opportunity to create a series of paintings for a specific space. The theme of New York really appeals to me, my work is often inspired my American landscapes so to focus on this unique city is fantastic. It's really exciting as an artist to know that the paintings will be on constant display together and exposed to vast and changing audiences. P&O have a great reputation for their relationship with artwork and artists, so it is a privilege to produce work for Azura." - Joe Simpson