Josh Smith (born 1976, Knoxville, TN, USA)
Josh Smith often creates work that uses his name but isn't all about him. Through his frequent experimentation, Smith has become both a trendsetter, and an artist who actively resists the notion of fashionable fine art. In a market where artists' names can often be compared to brands, Smith is known for creating paintings where his signature becomes the main object of focus. It some cases, it literally becomes centre stage. Once committed to canvas, the name exists in between the abstract and the representational. It is both a few brush strokes and indicative of a specific personality. The repetition of this motif, influenced by the artist's background as a printmaker, has created both a recognisable style and allowed Smith to explore his rapid creative process over time.
More recently Smith has appropriated the international language of signage to create work such as
Untitled (2010). This immediately arresting image commands the gallery visitor to 'STOP' and contemplate its presence. The use of aluminium, emerging from Smith's observations of the growing popularity of reflective surfaces in contemporary art, equally serves as a candid comment on his attitude to such trends.