It is a misnomer that visual artists are less articulate, that a talent for expressing themselves in visual terms somehow comes at a price: the inability to verbally engage intellectually or socially. It is as hoary a cliché as the notion that great art comes from madness – Van Gogh, or that Monet painted as he did because of his failing eyesight.
So when Shane Smith offers the following as his most recent artist’s statement:
Preachin' to the choir,
just a liar vyin'
We should take care to assume he has no more to say. In a 2017 interview with Not Random Art, the Interdisciplinary Artist refers to his own mental health issues as, “…more helpful than hindrance…but really, this, film and design are what help form my aesthetics.” Smith has a lot he can say about his work, beginning with this honest appraisal of where it comes from.
Smith’s work is rustic and playful, polished and serious. “Learning Curve” suggests that we should climb the ladder, but it also feels as if you might be positioned at the bottom of a roller coaster. Are we to think that getting ahead in life puts us at risk at being crushed by the weight of responsibility? In the installation entitled “Ed Reimann Visitation” we encounter a tableau that touches upon themes of mortality and remove through media that reach beyond the deceptively simple yet highly evocative objects placed before us.
The Wilmore, Kentucky native has recently returned to Kentucky after several years in Pennsylvania, and in 2017 exhibited at Pilot Projects and AUTOMAT in Philadelphia, and the Petzel Gallery in NYC.
Hometown: Wilmore, Kentucky
Education: BA, Asbury University/NYCAMS
(New York Center for Art and Media Studies);
MFA-PAFA (Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts)
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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved