In the Studio #34

A couple days ago a collector of mine sent me a few pics of my works newly installed on his apartment walls in New York. In my enthusiasm I posted a Facebook post which at first conflated the images my friend sent with those produced by an app which shows what artwork would look like on faux walls. I was told that my original comment was a bit smarmy by a friend and I agreed and changed the text. The episode made me realize just how delicately one must navigate social media. I linked this episode in my mind with a previous conversation I had with a studio-mate about our difficulty in using Instagram. Not so much difficulty, more how importantly hash-tagging is in bringing attention to ones work and how some less-than-honest-Instagram(ers) use sex to peddle their work and drive eyes to their supposed art Instagram sites. Both of these instances have left me exasperated to a certain extent with social media as a tool to expose oneself. Social media seems to be designed to favor a small number of mostly younger experts who use their finesse with these sites to set themselves apart. I wonder why so many of these sites are so complicated and to whose advantage this complexity benefits. These are things I think about as I write these blogs on my studio practice.

In my studio right now I’m continuing my painting series “The Hotness in Concert” and am on the third piece in the set. This current painting is the first to offer a overall view of the stage and building that The Hotness performs at, and presents a number of complexities for me because of it. I’ve run into challenges maintaining a degree of abstraction in the piece while also using some formal perspectival and recognizable elements. My blending of perspective line work and composition feel clunky to me but I’m battling my original drawing design enough I think to make a painting that feels unified. Here’s the original design drawing:

Anthony Smith Jr., Hot in Concert 3, 24 x 36 inches mixed media drawing, 2016

And here are a series of works in progress shots of the painting so far:



Right now I’m adding the audience to the stage painted so far in the hopes that by adding these figures all other elements in the piece will lock in place. The painting is a little more than half complete now I believe and I’m expecting things to become clearer over the next few days with the work.

I’ve been all over the map with the music I’ve been listening to lately and I will cover some of the new sounds I’ve heard over the next few posts. One oldie but goodie has been Jethro Tull, specifically ” My God”. Here’s a YouTube of it:

In a similar rock vein to my ears is Alabama Shakes. I found myself again listening to Sound and Color. Here’s my favorite song from that record, “Gimme All Your Love”.

And now for something really different. I want to share with you something I saw while on residency in Vermont. Its this weird animation by Run Wrake called “Rabbit”. All I can say about it is that its a cartoon about karma. Tell me what you think.


Okay I have several posts I’m behind on and will in the next few days clear my backlog.Until then do be well.

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