Contemporary Artist Simon Raab

Born in 1952 in Toulouse/France. Lives and works in Santa Barbara/USA.

Artist Simon RaabSimon Raab works in a unique medium, he coined and patented as “Parleau”, whose etymology is French for ‘through the water.’ Multiple layers of colored polymers are applied to stainless steel and aluminum and then “crushed” or sculpted to give the appearance of an image just under the surface of water. The art is presented as either a wall-mounted painting with embedded frames, or as a freestanding volumetric sculpture. Raab’s work is characterized by brilliant colors, figurative abstractions, and most often conveys some underlying philosophical message.

Raab identifies with the symbolism of the grenade, as an expression of disruptive ideas and the change agents from which they come. They have the ability to destroy and disrupt and expose suppressed ideas, yet they are egg-like, bearing offspring, activated and inspired by the hand of man, defensive, aggressive, working in the name of good and evil, dangerous and inviting. New and innovative ideas leave shrapnel of suspicion in your mind. The grenade is the perfect symbolism for creative destruction and aligns well with the Parleau medium. Parleau enhances the images on metal by a sculpting and crushing step, partially destroying after creating and generating a refreshing and dynamic visual perspective. Life is added to images, activated by life’s essence and the cycle of creation and destruction. Raab has enjoyed several successful years of exhibitions in Europe and Asia.

He was formerly a scientist and engineer and brings his rich technical training in materials to bear on his art. He credits the secret processes he has developed in Parleau to his scientific background. “It is a myth that the creative impulses and process in the sciences are different than those in the arts. They have many similarities, in that they are emotional, inspired, magical, technical, and are often born of frustration,” explained Raab.

Creator of the Pretty Grenade Art News Site.


Parleau Definition_Simon_Raab

Etymology: “par l’eau” French = through the water
Multiple layers of colored polymers applied to stainless steel and aluminum, then crushed and sculpted to give the appearance of an image just under the surface of water.