In the Studio #32

I finally finished “The Hotness in Concert No.2” yesterday with just a few hours before I needed to get the studio ready for a photo shoot. Fig Magazine, a local lifestyle publication based in Bethlehem, came by to do a shoot of resident artists at the Banana Factory yesterday early afternoon, and right after that I hit the road to the beach for a week. All in all a whirlwind day. Here’s a shot of the ocean when we arrived in Rehoboth Beach at sunset.

This painting was probably one of the most emotional pieces I’ve done in a while. I feel like I’ve been through the ringer several times in the two and a half months it took to make the piece. Without getting too much into what’s going on with me lets just say I now have a new appreciation for the sacrifices I’ve made since I moved to Pennsylvania. As for the painting it feels like a rainbow threw up and dried out on my panel. I’m not quite sure if the values are too intense. I generally enjoy high contrast super poppy colors in my works but this piece sits on the edge of lookability. It’s complicated and given what went into it that makes sense I think. Here are some instillation shots of the painting:


The painting started out as an experiment in orientation prompted by a artist talk I went to at the Vermont Studio Center of the artist Sarah McEneaney. I described Sarah’s work in a previous blog post. She makes pieces that have strangely close  disjointed and dense spaces. I wanted my piece to take a page from her technique by placing the stage for my badass band “The Hotness” on its side, forcing the viewer to crook their heads in order to see the band play. It was a fun little trick until I started thinking the piece should be a vertical instead of a horizontal piece like its brother Hotness 1. Now I have a dilemma, how should I display the piece. Maybe if your reading this you can help me, which way looks best. Send me a comment and let me know. Vertical or horizontal. Here’s the side by side:

Anthony Smith Jr., The Hotness in Concert No. 2, 26 x 40 inches, mixed media, 2016

This is the way I intended the painting to look

Anthony Smith Jr., The Hotness in Concert No. 2, 26 x 40 inches, mixed media, 2016

But I’m not sure if this orientation isn’t better

I’ve been trying to listen to more smart hip hop music lately. Its a genera that I largely rebelled against when I was younger because I hated that as a black man I was supposed to listen to it. So there are huge gaps in my hip hop knowledge that I’m only now filling in. In keeping with that trend I’ve been late is appreciating new artists which brings me to my latest appreciation, Kendrick Lamar. He’s been around for years but I just picked up his latest CD “To Pimp A Butterfly” thanks to my friend King Rodriguez – whose always up on the latest. King turned me onto “Alright” from Pimp which I love but the next song is just as good. Its called “For Sale”. Here are the YouTube videos of both songs.



Okay so I brought some artwork for me to do here in Rehoboth so I hope to do another In the Studio blog post later in the week. Until then be well.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s