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ABOUT

Sam Smith's paintings are a window into a fun, dream-like fantasy world of tigers, cowboys, sailors and double-headed horses. This colourful and playful universe bubbles up compulsively from a characteristic urge to express himself on paper which he has powerfully felt since he first discovered the pencil. This raw creative energy combined with a curiosity to explore less-prominent aspects of his internal world create a rare and compelling cocktail of playful imagery steeped in the mysteries of the human experience.

 

“Each night just before I fall asleep, there is a projector screen in my mind that plays a kind of slide-show. Images, sometimes fragments and sometimes whole scenes, appear of their own accord, I witness them and then they leave and get replaced by another vision. One minute it’s a cow standing in a church with distinctive blue shadows, then it’s a cream plate on an orange shelf and so on. This invariably precedes a nightly adventure of vivid dreams. In this continuum of visions, some images stay with me. They rise to prominence and take residence in my mind. Often it isn’t clear why they persist but their presence creates an intrigue which compels me to work with them. When they materialise they emit a kind of electricity which excites me. Incidentally, sometimes months down the line, something clicks and I understand the significance of the image.”

Sam Smith Artist London Figurative

Sam Smith, 'Dream-O-Vision' 2023

Although the work is personal, themes of friendship, mortality, hope, violence and courage run through an opus which brims with fun and borders on mythological. “Without painting I would go potty, so primarily my work is a fundamental attempt to survive and hold myself together. On top of that, there is a visual mapping of my psyche which adds a depth and universality to what I present.” 

His recent professional transition from working to commission (portraits, dog portraits, cycling reportage) into the limitless world of the imagination, ‘working from within’, coincides with a three year course of psychodynamic psychotherapy (the couch one). This invaluable psychological education has armed him with a confidence to express the ongoings that take place at the farther reaches of his psyche and it is exactly where a lot of inspiration is pulled from. Fittingly, there is a psychoanalytical language running through the work; multiple warring selves, lurking beasts, the vast unknowable sea of consciousness… “I am presenting something raw which is guided not by rationality but by feeling. I don’t know exactly what I’m doing. The art is the view from a cockpit of a rocket-ship flying into outer-space whereas me trying to ‘understand it’ is the man standing on earth trying to see the view through the windscreen of the spaceship. Painting and drawing is how I process life and try to make sense of what is going on by going into outer-space. The paintings are what I bring back from my adventures into the unknown.”

 

If you are interested in collaborating, buying or commissioning work, please contact me

samderbysmith@gmail.com

Exhibitions

 

2024 'Metamorphosis', 19-21st April, 7 Kensington Mall, London W8 4EB

2023 Wimbledon Art Fair, Nov, London (art fair)

2023 'Dream-O-Vision', 24th - 30th May, London (solo show)

2022 'Hot Diggity!' 11th-13th Nov, (début solo show) read more

2022 Anthropologie, Kings Road, London 'Blooming Blossoms and Bonkers Dogs' (joint show - dog paintings)

2021 Anthropologie, Kings Road, London  'Atelier Fran' (joint show - dog portraits)

2021 Pistachio and Pickle, (solo show of dog portraits dogmatixportraits.com)

2017 Look Mum No Hands, 49 Old Street, London (solo show of cycling paintings)

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