This interview was conducted by James Jackson, founder of Jacksons, Art & Fashion consultant, architect, writer.

What it is about an art piece that makes it truly special ?
Some would say “it’s about my relationship with the artist”, others would respond “I’ve always wanted to own an original piece by my favorite artist”, then there are the people who will purchase a piece to be seen and to be heard, the “wannabe celebrity mass”, who will snap-up whatever they can to fit into the bigger sense of social escalade.

For centuries, we were happy with the idea that Art was a representation of life or nature, until photography surfaced, then we were forced to accept that this notion was rather challenged. Then from circa 1860s to 1970s, modern Art became the talking point, notwithstanding the Abstract Art movement which slowly enrolled itself throughout the 20th century.

Art can be used to romantically or whimsically convey a figurative representation of a mind’s eye photograph or a dream thus creating an aspirational or empathetic link with the artist. Some pieces perform to the sensorial or highly emotional appreciation of art, thus communicating a raw, almost primal message. Then conversely, there are the pieces that ask questions or express ideas.

Conceptual Art is therefore arguably one of the bravest methods of self-expression. It is neither slave to a school of classical technique nor is it reliant on figurative images to render itself more accessible.

When art goes from being simply observed to actually being purchased, what happens?
Does the value of the piece change? Does its artistic power have any more force in another setting than in the gallery? Almost certainly not.
The installation or objects will always perform the role of the concept of which they were born but this is never appropriated by its new owner, it remains undeniably the artist’s.

In creating the Numbers, Simon wanted to remind the Art world that the value of an art piece is too heavily structured around the value of the object at any given time.

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Simon, tell me more about the background of Numbers, where does it come from?

It all started 6 years ago. I am a Philosopher and a Musician and I am passionate about Art as a vehicle to express myself philosophically. Numbers was born to converse with the world at large and to respond to the art world’s notion of pricing… the real value of art has nothing to do with the price one pays, it’s more about a decision… an act… a desire to belong, to become an affiliate, I wanted people to be able to acquire a Conceptual Art piece at their own price, and to prove to me that they understand the concept. When one buys a Numbers piece, it is like a certificate of “the Moment” when the Actor’s decision to choose his own price becomes locked in time; this value should never change. The Actors become mechanic components of a bigger picture, one of truth, performance, cause and consequence.

So you exhibit in a gallery? Each price has already been produced?

No, not necessarily. The purchaser – or as I have previously referred to them as “The Actor” – chooses his own price. He is a crucial part in the process.This is conceptual art, it is not for everyone. Most people when they buy art are looking for a response to their question, which leads to a feeling of unease when it comes to Conceptual Art as the artistic message conveyed is worth more than the actual object itself.Numbers is about tearing away the layers and just looking at the cold hard truth. The Numbers piece itself has been designed as an aesthetic, minimalist design piece. The object is attractive yet basic, it is intended to be like a mirror in which the only image looking back at you is the price you paid, the price you chose. It is, in essence, locked in time. I meet with each Actor up-front, I talk to them about what it all means to them… what those numbers mean to them… When one starts to really talk about the price of something on a personal level as opposed to a pre-determined notion of value, it changes everything. The Actor is suddenly disarmed of any realm of reasoning and has no necessity to purchase at all… it is just a conversation and a decision to act, it it almost like a tattoo. By doing this, I create a truly unique rapport between myself as the Artist, the Actor and the Numbers piece. It’s a cohesive process where the Actor interacts and becomes part of the piece’s raison d’être.

Is it safe to presume that your key message is one for the individual – “the Actor”? or for the Art World at large?

I guess to resume; I want to demonstrate that the price of Art does not come from the value of the Art itself as this is always subjective. The value of all art should not be taken seriously. With Numbers, the Act is everything; the Numbers piece itself is just an object. It will never pretend to be anything more, nor will it reassure its audience. It is honest. The price of Art can be, and should somehow be fixed in time. I like the idea that ‘Numbers’, as a conceptual form, presented graphically somehow locks-in the price and the moment. It becomes static. It also, and that may be the most singular aspect of Numbers, creates an original interaction between the piece and the beholder: one of pure objectivity, made possible by the purely logical process that gave birth to the piece. Whatever one may think about the piece, it stands entirely free and unreachable. It is in a way a kind of monster in the world of Art, because it doesn’t care for its audience.

Consequently, is there a specific audience type for your work?

Yes indeed. The conceptual idea is not intended to simply create a neutral reaction, it begs adherence, you either get it or you don’t. The ones that don’t get it, just scratch their heads, smile and then go back to Facebook or Snapchat. The others however, the ones that are open to buying a piece – not just for the ‘reported object value’ but for the philosophical idea that it expresses – these are the people who understand the concept. When they hang their piece on their wall at home they are happy; they have participated in a sort of movement and they have their own unique ‘Numbers’ piece. It is like a club, a conceptual club of believers, people who believe in the absolute truth and who are not afraid to look at it every day on their wall; the ones that know that everything we buy, if not attached to a strong memory, remains in fact just an object. The people who like my concept are the ones who want to accept that simplicity, in its most extreme form, can be sufficient to deconstruct preconceived ideas. These are the ones who also appreciate the cool minimal aesthetic of the Numbers piece. Logically, the value never changes and the style remains timeless. That is part of the concept.

So, every single Numbers piece is unique? You cannot have two of the same price?

That is correct. If the price you want has already been paid by someone else then it is ‘acted’, it is no longer…you must choose another Number, higher or lower according to your budget or in response to your desire, or in harmony with the reflection you ‘hope’ or ‘expect’ to see looking back at you from the piece.