30 Under 35 2020

Fin Simonetti Finds Poetry in Stonemasonry

Elizabeth Karp-Evans

Photography by Aubrey Mayer

Fin Simonetti

Fin Simonetti’s practice is  a magnification of the kaleidoscopic methods with which young artists now feel the freedom to produce work. She holds a degree in film production; has released an album for which she wrote, recorded, performed and mixed all the music; and, in 2017, following the loss of her father, took up stone carving in addition to the delicate 2D stained-glass works she was already making, as well as the intricate red ink drawings she is known for. But it is her stone sculpture, specifically her show, “Pledge,” at New York’s Company Gallery in the spring of 2019, that has introduced her work to a wider audience.

Fin Simonetti’s Gusset 2, 2019. Courtesy of artist and Cooper Cole, Toronto,

“Stone carving was really natural and fast and easy in a way that other mediums haven’t been,” Simonetti says over the bust of a large, muzzled marble pitbull. Stone and stained glass are the two materials she currently works with—opposing yet complementary matter that she engages due to their being “close to each other,” materials able to break down and endlessly recycle into the environment. And while one is as delicate as the other is seemingly indestructible, Simonetti often reverses these concepts within her finished pieces, highlighting the fragility of conventional masculinity through small stone works of orphaned anatomy or making stained-glass bear traps with oversized dimensions, cursorily sinister and breathtaking. The latter works were for a solo show at Cooper Cole on view through early December.

When asked what the most difficult thing is about making these pieces, Simonetti is quick to reply: “The idea of being able to pick something to make, and then to have the confidence but also the flexibility to see it through.” A single sculpture can take months, only to crack during the final cuts. But this doesn’t seem to phase Simonetti. “I’ve always made art. Art is urgent, whether or not there’s an audience.”