• December 7, 2021

‘Stunning Chaos’: Buckhead artist’s collage works provoke and empower

On the intersection of artwork and commercial, the collage works of artist Anderson Smith embrace sexuality and provoke the viewer’s concepts of trend, luxurious manufacturers, promoting, and the human type. A trend and product photographer by commerce, Smith is effectively acquainted with business manufacturers that always make the most of sexuality and the feminine type to promote their items. Inundated by ads in trend magazines and impressed by a love for the narrative of traditional cinema, he has developed a physique of combined media work that has captured the eye of celebrities and earned him illustration at a number of native galleries. 

Anderson Smith in his studio house at Buckhead Artwork & Firm in Buckhead Village. (Isadora Pennington)

One piece on show options phrases reduce out from magazines that command and empower their viewers. “Individuals love no matter you do, personal your content material. Have a look at me now boss,” it says. Surrounding these phrases are an array of physique components. An outsized lady’s face with eyes lined by metallic sits atop a seated nude determine. 4 legs sprout beneath the physique, every sporting excessive heels. Peeking out behind the top is a portion of the Statue of Liberty’s inexperienced crown. 

“It’s stunning chaos,” Smith says when requested what evokes his work. “There’s chaos in magnificence and there’s magnificence in chaos. And that’s the world we dwell in.” His collages embody a level of managed wildness in the way in which they incorporate photographs that have been meant to depict refined tradition and magnificence. Smith’s items are composed not simply of paper, but additionally acrylic paint, spray paint, pigments, resin, and gel mediums. One other piece laying close by includes a younger Michael Jackson peeking out from inside a denim pocket whereas a nude lady’s determine reverse seems to be gazing up on the scene. The piece is generally darkish with splashes of colour that shine by. Throughout the picture are a wide range of spray painted Louis Vuitton logos. 

“I used to be actually by no means a protected photographer and I’m actually not a protected artist,” Smith explains. ‘When you take a look at trend labels like Louis Vuitton there’s plenty of provocation of their model and the way they show their merchandise.” 

He says his aim is to spark dialog for his viewers and asserts that it isn’t for him to interpret his artwork, slightly for his viewers to render a judgment about what the message is perhaps. His works embrace the looseness of sexuality in European artwork and media whereas pertaining to the consumable high quality of nudity and the way it’s utilized in trend and advertising and marketing. These items deliver to the forefront components which are typically meant for use subtly. By combining completely different figures and blocking out physique components like eyes or exaggerating sure sexualized options, he asks the viewer to contemplate a deeper message behind the characters put forth in trend and promoting.

Whereas the composition of lots of Smith’s collages might at first look seem like organized at random, his artistic course of is definitely way more methodical. “It’s very intentional, very methodical. It’s like placing collectively a puzzle. It may well begin with only one picture, and that picture simply begins the entire concept,” he says.

The big-scale items supply not solely composition from afar, but additionally hidden messages, phrases, and performs on phrases that draw you in for a better look. The perceptive viewer also can discover sure recurring movie star characters within the combine, resembling Marilyn Monroe, David Bowie, Fred Astaire, Karl Lagerfeld and Grace Jones.

A element of certainly one of Anderson Smith’s collage artworks. (Isadora Pennington)

Initially from the South Aspect neighborhood of Chicago, Smith moved to Atlanta 21 years in the past. He has lived in Buckhead for the final 11 years. His father was a photographer however the arts by no means actually Smith as a younger man, as a substitute specializing in athletics. It was finally his love of cinema that impressed him to select up a digicam, make movies, and later start his pictures profession.

Recognized for his trend and product pictures, his shopper work typically brings him to locations like Miami the place he pictures completely composed photographs highlighting swimsuits and stylish poolside scenes. In distinction to the vitality seen in his collage work, these pictures embody a stillness and symmetry that lends itself effectively to the merchandise on show. 

It was round 10 years in the past that Smith first began exhibiting his collage work, which originated as a passion he did in his spare time. Within the years since he has garnered consideration, gallery illustration, and even landed a few of his items in native rapper T.I.’s house. Smith and the rapper had been at most of the similar occasions, together with one on the Clermont Resort in 2019 which included a few of Smith’s collages on show. In the end, it was interactions by Instagram that put the 2 in contact and facilitated the dialog and eventual buy of a number of works. 

Immediately, Smith can typically be discovered working within the Buckhead Artwork & Firm studio in Buckhead Village. He has been represented by Buckhead Artwork & Firm for a number of years, and says it seems like he discovered a house there with proprietor Katie Jones. Behind the plate glass home windows and within the shadow of a large number of works by different famend artists, Smith diligently works on his compositions. Surrounded by stacks of magazines, buckets of paint, blades and brushes, he creates his cheeky and provocative collages.  

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