Building Speed Featured Artists
Corey Smith is a painter, sculptor and photographer from Portland, OR, who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. His paintings and photography have appeared in Vice, Elle, ID, FHM, Frequency, Complex, and Arkade magazines, among others. His works have been shown in galleries across the country, including Upper Playground (Portland, OR), Versus (Los Angeles), On Six (San Francisco), KCDC (New York City), and the Orange County Museum of Art.
Smith's high-gloss, ultra-flat paintings capture the joys of plasticity and pre-fab environments, celebrity as the ultimate blank canvas, and the absurd hyperboles of modern leisure. But rather than repackage the manufactured world into an aestheticized form–a la post-Warholian Pop–Smith favors a post-Pop approach that brings into day-glo focus the dark vision at the corner of the spectator's eye. The paintings find their subject in the tension between the works' fatalistic undercurrents and the celebratory aura created by Smith's use of bold color and bright-lined contour.
His sculptures and mixed media works develop some of these same themes, but rather than map plasticity onto flat canvas, Smith instead maps flatness onto plastic forms–whether by painting across arrays of commercially molded objects or by making use of the naturally deflective precision-cut panes of modern machinery.
Smith's photography develops some of the same themes as his sculpture and painting–surface, extremity–but abandons ironies for a more intimate perspective. Most of his subjects are close friends or lovers, and Smith documents them at points where excess bleeds either into empathy or its impossibility, and where the romance of abandon intersects with abandonment.
His works are a Death Valley realism, infused with both sunny Californian optimism and morbid premonition. This is awful, deeply wrong, utterly fantastical stuff–a distillation of a time, a place, and a generation that are always already beside themselves.