Simon Grant sees everything through highly attuned eyes he is fully immersed in the art world.
Currently the editor of Tate Etc magazine, the largest circulation art magazine in Europe with a print run of 140,000. He is also a writer and curator. So it was a tremendous pleasure when Simon told us that his new Dashing jacket had become an instant favourite, and a recipient of unsolicited praise during Frieze art fair.
Perception honed with decades of knowledge enable him to instantly identify textile designers that Kirsty holds in highest regard such as Anni Albers (whose work will feature in a much-anticipated show at Tate Modern next year) and Gunta Stölzl, as well as noticing similarities in the weave structure of his Nebula jacket to Mexican tooth comb motifs that Simon had seen at the start of his career working briefly for a dealer in ancient South American textiles.
Simon graduated from Bristol University with a degree in art history and Spanish, a perfect combination for his first job during a year out as cultural editor of a Peruvian newspaper (The Lima Times). Returning to London a brief spell of contemplation ensued mainly in laundrettes observing the orbits of his washing while also working for Amnesty International.
The following years were spent in great industry not only working as a freelance art critic and journalist for the Guardian, Independent on Sunday and various magazines, and starting a family with his beautiful wife Charlotte, but also co-founding another magazine Picpus, its title having various meanings, including being a pun on the French for ‘flea bite’. A quarterly free publication of cultural miscellany Picpus, as the name suggests, is a feisty publication that likes to ‘gnaw at the ankles of the art world,’ as well as offer up the unexpected and alluring.
Since 2004 Simon has edited Tate Etc, taking great pleasure in working closely with artists from across the world and commissioning many of them to write for the magazine. He also manages to find time to edit books, on Paul Nash and recently with contemporary artists writing about favourite artworks from the past “In My View: Personal Reflections on Art by Today’s Leading Artists“.
He has been curating various exhibitions, recently the much praised Georgiana Houghton: Spirit Drawings at the Courtauld Gallery last year and is working on a forthcoming Nash exhibition at the Fondation Vincent Van Gogh in Arles. He also collects an eclectic range of artworks by modern and contemporary artists including Vidya Gastaldon, Peter Doig, Frank Walter, Scottie Wilson and Tacita Dean.
With his laid back style and a natural tendency to observe rather than steal the limelight Simon’s a perfect commentator on the zeitgeist. He very much enjoys the fact that his newly tailored jacket feels casual and elegant without a stiff formality, something he can wear any place. It is also interesting that he sees renewed interest amongst artist in the use of textiles, something that we are sure will filter down more and more, creating a desire amongst men for a wider range of textiles in their wardrobe.