Monday, October 27, 2008

Slow Descent Into Abstraction

Friday October 24th The Reach in Abbotsford in collaboration with UFV presented the first in a series of Visiting Artist sessions with a presentation by Pete Smith.

About 15 to 20 of us sat in one of the new studios with Pete and his power point presentation. The first image on the screen was a statement about himself.

"Manufacturing and distributing fine cultural produce since 1975" Steve and I laughed figuring he was born in 1975 and we were correct.

It was interesting seeing the history of his Abstraction. Starting with pillows that he had tied, cut circles and re sewn, and painted with house paint. One piece he painted the address of and Art Gallery on it and stamped it and sent it through the mail. The post office said it was the strangest thing they had ever delivered and the Art gallery said it was the strangest thing they had ever received. He went on to sculpture using packaging for molds and plaster creating Alien Artifacts. If I still had my gallery this would be the month for the Alien Art show, seeing Smith's Alien Artifacts brought back fond memories of passed shows.
These days Pete is using everyday things we take for granted such as scrawls on walls with felt pen, graffiti, tags, a statement of existence or a testament that they were there, packaging, spam in our e-mails, shapes. He loves words, writing and shapes. Using a digital camera he photographs the detritus and puts them on transparencies to be traced into his abstracts. Some of us use photo shop for abstract photographs, but Pete is photo shop. He put together a manual of forms and shapes. You could fallow the evaluation of a shape such as the one that looked like yarn weaving in and around the abstract. In each progression of paintings the shape changed becoming thicker to be almost cylindrical cloud formations like a dream I had recently. Pete stopped using oil paint for acrylic paint because it is plastic like the world today. To further create the plastic image he covered his work with a thick layer of high gloss resin. All his works have titles such as "Usunioni", "Arm your Desire", "Out of this airless sky", Some found words that have no meaning and pirated phrases. After seeing the power point presentation Steve and I had to go to Pete's opening in Vancouver to see his work up close and refrain from touching.

On October 25th was the opening for Pete Smith's show "Proverbs for Paranoids" Its at the "Cristall gallery" the show is on till November 15th the address is 2245 Grandville St. Vancouver, Tuesday to Saturday 10:30am-5:30pm, Sunday 1-5pm. for more information visit or call 604.730.9611

After Pete's talk we were told he had to get to the bus station in 20 minutes so I snapped off a few hasty shots, if I had photo shop I could do some interesting abstracts with this photo taken at The Reach. Caroline Myny, Hugo Myny, Mary Anne, Pete Smith and Stella Johnson. I like the light play on the faces.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I am tiring to put my speeches on this blog but what I am doing is not working. I will be at City Blends today on King and McCallum Rd from 11:00 to 2:00. So I will try again with the speeches after I get back. Maybe I will see you there.
Vote for Tomorrow.