James Simon was born in Wikwemikong, Ontario in 1954 and lives today in the cedar shake house in which he was born.
There is a strong hint of Surrealism in style that is very different from traditional Anishnabe painters. His art is very mystical and enchanting.
James is a self taught Anishnabe artist. The best story about meeting this refreshing young artist comes from Mary E. (Beth) Southcott's book The Sound Of The Drum:
Robert McMichael and his wife Signe, curators of the McMichal Collection, at Kleinberg, went to Manitoulin Island to see the work of 19 year old James Simon they had heard so much talk of. They were struck by the surrealistic elements Simon had introduced to legend painting.
McMichael asked the artist if Salvador Dali's work had influenced his style.
'I don't think so,' Simon replied. 'What reserve is he on?'"