ADAM PARKER SMITH STUDIO VISIT
Adam Parker Smith has a distinct sculptural style. The scale of his work is awe-worthy. He uses materials that on their own some might deem as kitschy, however Smith elevates and arranges them in ways that leave the viewer wonderstruck. He was kind enough to share his space with us, walking us through his process, his thoughts on humor in his work and what he has coming up in 2016.
1. You have a diverse body of work, everything from resin painted mirrors that appear sweaty, to sculptures that are made of blinds. This new series of sculptures incorporates everything from fake cakes to Mylar balloons. Do you find not pigeon-holing yourself to one particular style liberating?
Liberating, yes, but granting myself access to disparate working methods is overwhelming at times and always uncomfortable.
2. How would you describe humor as an over-arching theme in your work?
When humor arises in this work it is related to a more academic definition of comedy with origins in the theatre of Ancient Greece where dramatic performances pit two societies against each other in an amusing conflict. The vantage point for me is a struggle between the powerless youth and societal conventions where the youth is left with little options other then to take dramatic unconventional action.
3. When creating work do you typically have the materials in mind that you want to work with or does form come first?
For me, for a work to be most successful, form, concept and material should as synchronized as possible.
4. Balloons have become an intricate part of this new series of sculptures. How/why did you start using them?
I made a piece years ago titled Pinned. This work consisted of an inflatable kiddie pool held to the ceiling by a bouquet of helium balloons. I've been injecting balloons into my work since then.
5. Some of the materials you use (i.e. balloons) are things not thought of as having longevity in terms of holding-up structurally over the course of time. What has the process of finding ways to make these things last been like?
Arduous, frustrating, and occasionally with luck, catalytic.
6. You were formally trained in painting, can you talk about the transition to becoming a sculptor?
I'm a horrible painter. My transition to sculpture occurred from enough people telling me so.
7. You share a beautiful studio with your wife Carolyn Salas. How does the dynamic of sharing a space with someone you’re close to influence your practice?
On the plus side, I have opinions on tap, which is extremely helpful. On the negative side, I have opinions on tap. Also Carolyn does horrific and bizarre things to my tools.
8. What do you have coming up in 2016?
I'm looking forward to doing a solo project at the Hole, and group shows at Honor Fraser, Louis B James, Evergold Gallery, LVL3, and Mike Weiss Gallery.