The Art of Symeon Shimin
by Tonia Shimin
Mercury Press International

"'I had to get the best out of myself,' he revealed late in his life, 'a characteristic I noticed throughout my whole life.'"

Tonia Shimin, daughter of artist Symeon Shimin, takes readers on a journey through her father's life and legacy, focusing on his passion for social justice. Born amid the diversity of Astrakhan, Russia, Shimin first dreamed of a life as a musician—a dream discouraged by his composer uncle. But soon, at the tender age of twelve, Shimin discovered his life-changing gift for capturing the human experience through visual art. Though his family lived in poverty after they emigrated to the United States, Shimin dedicated himself to his craft, sketching on paper bags and exploring art through books and museums. Vowing to become a noted artist, Shimin realized his vision, creating portraiture art that captured the imagination from Hollywood screens to children's books to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Following some introductory essays, the book embarks on a showcase of Shimin's work, from his early sketches and paintings to his vivid and haunting later works. Special attention is given to his most famous masterpiece, Contemporary Justice and The Child, a critically acclaimed and award-winning mural still displayed at the U.S. Department of Justice Building eighty-one years after its completion. The book features not only a stunning image of the mural itself but also study sketches and up-close photos of the mural's detail, immersing the reader in the realism of this timeless creation. The work concludes with a stunning image of Two Hands Reaching, seeming to embody the enduring power of both the artist and his art to uplift mankind. From cover to cover, Shimin's work envelopes readers in images of hope and humanity, many of which still reveal with poignant realism the lives of the vulnerable among us.

Honorable Mention in the 2021 Eric Hoffer Book Award Art Category

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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