Smith Smith


Interview Smith Smith pour Art Reveal Magazine

Posted by Smith Smith on September 23, 2015 at 11:00 AM



Briefly describe the work you do.

I make paper collages using cuttings from magazines, which I glue together with other elements that I find or create myself. I develop collections that are variations on a theme; in each I try to express a new idea, a different part of my worldview. My style could be called Idealist/Utopian/Underground/Provoc.

Do you think of yourself as a conceptual artist?

No, I don't think I consider myself a conceptual artist. I never really liked straightforward Concept—it brings too much intellectualization to the act of creation. When I start to stick, with an idea newborn in my mind, I try to work fast so I don’t lose my thread. When I love a collage, I immediately want to make him some little brothers and little sisters, and these I gather into collections.

I would say that I am an instinctive artist. Whenever I have been too thoughtful making a collage I have found that the result tends toward the average. Nevertheless, I understand that from the point of view of the public, this is a fair question. Concepts provide the thematic frameworks in which I move, but nothing more.

What is the best part about working with collage?

It really depends on the type of collage. When I make portraits using a technique of cutting little pieces of paper to create a set mosaic, the best time is the beginning of the assembly; for the imagination is boiling as I move and stick and slowly discover the evolving collage! It's a very long process, and pretty exciting.

When I build a collage with pictures, it's the moment when the elements unite and it becomes appreciable—in one second, a story is created. There’s a connection sensation: I know that these two pieces of paper were made to meet!.


Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice?

What influences me most in this art are the images themselves, wherever they may come from. They talk to me. I have the kind of imagination that escapes quickly, and when I see a thing, whatever it is, I tend to think of it transmuted to another function. The result can be very funny or disturbing or totally illogical.

Then, also, I’m continually influenced by artists of all stripes, I can be inspired by musicians as much as by painters or other collage artists. I work intensively and I work fast, so I was always impressed by people who turned out rapid production—people like Bukowski with his poems, Daniel Johnston with his songs, Picasso worked quickly too....

Finally, I often look to the work of Erin Case, I'm a fan of her collages.


What advice can you give to those who are just starting out in the arts?

Sincerely, this is a very difficult question. I don't like to give advice because my truths are only good for me. But if I have to say only one thing it would be to be positive and face creation cheerfully, and be consistent with it. We all go through difficult times. Creation (in my case music, photography, collage,) helps me to extract myself from a sometimes too-violent reality…allows me to get to know who I am and free myself of codes that are not my own. Being positive and being you is important!


What are you working on right now?

Right now I am finishing my first large-format: an 80cm x 80cm portrait I made using the mosaic technique. It took me a lot of time, but it was good to confront myself with an ambitious project. To experience large achievements is important, I think. For me, anyway.

I also work on collaborative projects (I have three in the works and one waiting!). It's very exciting to work with someone on the design of a collage—two different worlds meet, and they have to play together with subtlety. Also I get the great opportunity to work with artists for whom I have enormous respect—it is an honor! The first collaboration was recently posted and shared on social networks. It's a work that I realized with Eugenia Loli. She's an artist I love so much…she knows how to play with colors and put things in relief! My ongoing collaboration is with Erin Case, whom I mentioned earlier. Erin’s collages ooze charm and sensuality—she has a fabulous inner universe! Next, I’ve started to produce some collages for Walter Paganuzzi, and he for me! We will exhibit together at the Collagistas Festival to be held in Greece this coming May.

And I have many ideas in store for future collages ...

To be continued!


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