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Josh Smith

    For an artist who uses his own name as the leitmotif for his expressionistic paintings, Josh Smith is surprisingly self-effacing: he is pretty calm and casual when discussing his work.


    As for scrawling his name across his work, Smith explains during an interview that he “struggles with making abstract painting”, so he decided that his name could be used as a foundation upon which to build layers that comprise his “messy” paintings. He also mentions that he is trying to guard against work that “misrepresents” him. And it completely doesn’t work when the letters of his name look like creepy octopus tentacles or kitschy spin art.


    The paintings work best when the letters are integrated into the background and have an energetic push and pull that can be read as enigmatic landscapes. The work is fun too, since his name must be deciphered like a code.


    But anyway, we have got difficulties in understanding why Josh Smith is a great success. He said, “I have a simple name”… And he said that he got tired of throwing out the palettes so he started saving those abstractions and hanging them as finished works. They look lost and insignificant.


    Then there is the matter of his large collages consisting of newspaper pages and posters for his shows. If slapdash can suffice in paint, it’s just plain inept in collage.


    Josh Smith observes that he can work on as many as 100 paintings simultaneously. 

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