Operating under an artistic alias, Simon Fitzsimon's intricate paintings are based on imagery of the colourful boxes of the fruit and vegetable distributor he works at. His works reference traditional trompe l’oeil still life paintings that rely upon biographic notations to place them in a certain context.
Tell us about your approach to interpreting Lune's Coconut Pandan Twice-Baked Croissant recipe.
In this painting I wanted to remain true to the list of ingredients given to me. The "SimonFitzsimon" paintings aim to reflect the individual's narrative and sometimes these can be quite abstract but in this case, it was more literal, and I aimed to pay respect to Kate's recipe and the particular products she uses, and I couldn't help resisting adding Lune's great little logo on the box too!
Why are you drawn to food as a subject?
It surrounds me all day at work, from the amazing produce that enters the fruit and shed to the graphics on the boxes that they are housed in. I am also interested in the endless possibilities of what this produce can be transformed into. Take a pallet of tomatoes for instance, half might head off to be sliced up and placed in a salad or put on a burger, then some might end up as a sauce and a smaller percentage might get turned into some kind of foam reduction. They enter the shed as equals but the cafe, pub, burger joint or high-end restaurant they end up in will give these tomatoes a varied status and price point.
What are your favourite songs to paint/design/draw to?
Too many. I have been listening to a lot of Fontaines DC, Dry Cleaning and Baxter Drury lately, plus Triple R (even though I don't live in Melbourne anymore) and I have a few faithfuls that I go to like PJ Harvey and Mulatu Astatke.
Take us through an average day on your plate.
Muesli for breakfast, lunch is generally an all-day affair, snacking on fruit and veg at work. Tea (dinner) I wasn't allowed to call it dinner growing up is varied, often something carb based like pasta or something that includes spuds (love em). Don't really have dessert.
If we were to peer into your pantry and fridge, what are 5 things we would always find?
Olive oil, garlic, spuds, canned tomatoes and fresh ones, bread.
What is one of your happiest food memories?
Not that I appreciated the yumminess at the time, for the first 7 years of my life I grew up on the Central Coast, NSW. My father and uncle would often go rock fishing and the catch of the day would be baked whole and placed in the middle of the table. My two older siblings would poke the fisheyes with their fingers.
What do you cook for the people you love?
I love cooking Paella! I even invested in a massive pan and one of the paella burners.
What are your favourite rituals around food and dining?
After prepping the food for the family, I like to have a glass of something whilst cooking, then when it's all done, I start painting pictures of food!
Where do you draw inspiration from, both in the studio and in the kitchen?
Work, being surrounded by so much amazing produce it is hard not to be. I use this as inspiration for the paintings as well as in the kitchen. I love cooking and eating almost as much as painting.