Joel Simon was born in Belgium where he studied Fine Art at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Liège, before living in the USA and England and eventually settling in Belfast, Northern Ireland, which he has made his home.
He has been working in the film and animation industry as a director, winning over 50 international awards, and collaborating with artists as diverse as Seamus Heaney, Richard Curtis and Billy Connolly. Making a transition into oil painting, Joel became fascinated with the idea of creating narrative paintings through stylised poses, his aim is to convey his subject’s emotional inner life in a clear, distilled aesthetic form. His inspiration is drawn from vintage magazines and photographs and contemporary settings in his home city. The cinematographic vision which he developed throughout his career persists in all his work, particularly in the composition of his paintings. Joel studied the traditional oil glazing techniques of old masters at The Florence Studio, and alla prima painting with the Russian artist Arthur Gain. His work has been purchased by international collectors and selected several times by the RUA. His first solo show FACES OF BELFAST featured in the 2018 Belfast International Arts Festival.