Carl Smith

Carl Smith is an American artist that has been living in Berlin, Germany since 2001. He works with a combination of silkscreen printing, collage, and painting. Smith is originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico, and studied art at The Cooper Union in New York.

Smith explores the area between Pop Art and Surrealism. He combines his own photographic materials with drawings and other narrative fragments. He works with several layout combinations before creating a finished image. From this finished layout, he selects and transmits individual pieces onto a canvas through screen-printing and further completes his works with oil paint. With the use of found images he tells slightly absurd and humorous visual anecdotes. The process of making these narrative works is what Smith refers to as, “drawing with pictures.”

“In the present time period we are living in, books have reached a transitional point due to their digitization, whereby the content of the book and the physical book are becoming separate. In effect this means that their identity is now rapidly changing. I find it fascinating that historically certain books have formed civilizations, caused great upheavals, been the source of massive scandals, and started entire wars even though they are in themselves just completely inert objects.

“I am especially intrigued by the appearance of books when they are together in large, disorderly groups where all their different colors and styles somehow find a certain harmony. In many of my pieces I have sought to draw attention to this dynamic and experiment with the visual possibilities of stacking and leaning the books on each other like some kind of abstracted building block. In short, as a visual artist who works primarily with collage, I find books to be endlessly inspiring. They are so ordinary, yet they can be so sublime.”