Richard Smith explores unexpected interrelationships between everyday images through surrealist photomontage. Working with elements from nature, pedestrian objects, and scenes from his travels and neighborhood, he fuses these components into ethereal yet cohesive views that transcend their origins. A self-taught graphic artist with 20+ years of professional experience, Smith incorporates assimilated photographic techniques and modern photomanipulation approaches into his hand-crafted compositions.
Smith has been recognized globally for his photomontage art, with his pieces being shared across several U.S. and international creative venues.
ARTIST'S STATEMENT: Hi, Iím Richard Smith, aka ďrsmithing.Ē I blend scenes from my surroundings into surreal photomontages. What you see are stylized amalgamations of my everyday world.
Richard Smith + things = rsmithings.
I see things in new ways since discovering the possibilities of photography and photomontage. A rich universe of detail exists all around us, all the time, just waiting to be appreciated. And with only a little effort weíre free to enjoy it whenever we want.
Iíve always believed beauty is everywhere and that we should take time to notice it. Art surrounds us, whether in architecture, words, music, or just in nature. And having an appreciation for that can make life more meaningful.
My technique is this: I constantly snap photos of whateverís around that I find interesting. Once the urge to create strikes, I then start a synthesizing journey. Sometimes I know exactly where Iím headed; other times Iím just along for the ride, letting magic from the universe do the driving.
My process is like carving a sculpture, with the edges of my fingers forming lines to define shapes and reveal serendipitous relationships ó not unlike physically placing individual elements as in a paper collage ó except I do this through masking, blending and mimicking established photographic techniques like solarization or vignetting. Each piece is meticulously crafted with these and other ingredients, using direct touch to form a hierarchy of narrative. A final composition is the culmination of fusing disparate elements into a kind of empyreal abstract union.
Ever since first laying eyes on the photomontage medium, Iíve been fascinated with the form, having since been inspired toward a career as a professional graphic artist. Manipulating reality for artistic effect has always been my favorite part of graphic design, so Iíve worked to develop my technique for doing this in my own creations, using photography of the immediate as source material to illustrate and emphasize the artfulness of our ordinary environments.
My favorite art is the kind that gets viewers to consider things in new ways. I believe thatís the most exciting thing about sharing creativity: the opportunity for a mind-expanding encounter. It can happen through words, music, visuals, or just keenly noticing whatís right in front of us at any moment. And itís a wonderful feeling, both to experience and create.
Richard Smith joined Fine Art America on December 26th, 2013.