With a résumé that includes degrees from University of California at Santa Cruz, Tyler School of Art, & Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, participation in art residency programs with Sing Space, Triangle Arts, & AIRspace, and exhibitions at the Gallery ZIDOUN in Luxemberg, Times Museum in China, & Galerie Sho Contemporary Art in Tokyo, Adam Parker Smith is a rising artistic voice that has many in the art world on the edge of their seats to see what the Brooklyn-based craftsman will imagine next.
Three weeks ago DZI: The Voice published a feature on Smith. This week The Voice got the chance to chat with the Adam about his decision to focus on installations rather than paintings, how a run in with the law changed his career, and how he’s using his infamous witty personality in his new approach to creating. Go further into the brilliant, comical mind of contemporary artist Adam Parker Smith in our exclusive Q&A.
Yohance Kyles: When did you first discover your voice as an artist?
Adam Parker Smith: I feel like I discover my voice once every couple years. Then I grow [a feeling of ] discontent, and I have to search for it again. I think to be interesting my practice has to grow and my voice has to reinvent itself constantly.
YK: You started off as a painter. Why did you decide to move into doing sculptures and mixed media?
APS: I’m not in love with painting. I’m in love with ideas and material. Initially, I tried to squeeze all my ideas onto canvas, but it wasn’t about painting. It was about something else, and it never worked.
YK: Can you remember the particular piece or exhibition that really started to attract the attention from galleries and art critics?
APS: I got arrested for producing an artwork while preparing for my thesis show in grad school. I was abroad at the time and when I got back to Philadelphia I got some mileage out of that show/arrest.
YK: There is a certain sense of reflective irony in your work. Do you consider yourself a cultural critic?
APS: I would like to believe that I am more of a participant then a critic. Being critical divorces you from the subject in a way, and I don’t want to be uninvolved. I think to really make a sincere comment you have to be immersed.
YK: What is your creative process when constructing a piece?
APS: Lately, I have been buying ideas from other artists. For around $200 I have been buying the rights to a concept for a work and then producing it. I’m currently working on having other people fabricate the works that I buy.
YK: “Crush” is one of your most celebrated works. Can you talk about your thoughts on the concept behind that piece?
APS: There is a woman on the canvas. A fan is blowing the real human hair sewn through the canvas into her face, thereby hiding her visage. The perception of this symbol of beauty and desire is modified, blurred.
YK: Recently, your monolith, “9:4:1”, showing at the Storefront Bushwick exhibition was damaged. Were you able to salvage the piece?
APS: No. It will be remade. I had concerns about storage that went away very quickly.
YK: It’s been reported that you were selected to curate an exhibition at Lu Magnus later this year. Have you started to consider the theme for the exhibit or any artists you’d like to see featured?
APS: The gallery and I are not releasing any information about the show or the participants at this point.
YK: What other artists do you think are really pushing the boundaries of contemporary art right now?
APS: Everyday I feel like I see a new piece by a different artist that expands the world we live in a little bit.
YK: What’s next for Adam Parker Smith?
APS: I will be doing a show at La Montagne Gallery in Boston that will open April 24th.
For more info about Adam Parker Smith click it
Check out footage of Smith’s installations “Burn Out” and “Untitled (player piano):