Mark John Smith, view of spray painted IKEA Duvet covers
Mark John Smith is a British artist working and residing in Brooklyn, NY. As a New York transplant, Smith’s work investigates language within public and private spaces. These spaces are refigured to allot new meaning and expression in order to create a unified setting for Smith to further explore vulnerability.
From mixed media paintings to his IKEA duvet covers to his spray painted soft sculptures to his digital C prints, Smith’s work is relatable and draws viewers in to consider their own lives in relation to politics, daily nuances and individuality. Furthermore, Smith’s work investigates the removal of bodily presence within the contemporary notion of experience and physicality. Within the digital paradigm, Smith’s LIVELIVE Project, which launched during the 2012 Olympic games, is a new digital arts periodical and community engagement program that aims to bring art from the private settings of galleries or museums into the public domain. Over 100,000 people saw and participated in curating art and content for public exhibition.
Smith has been a busy artist the last few months. Two major exhibitions and a series of pop-up exhibitions along the Bowery, the British artist has continued to push the limits to explore his ideas and become a staple within New York’s art scene (and he’s definitely made some memorable carbon footprints). The window at 125 (with assistant and studio-mate Matt Whitman) at the Roger Smith Hotel in Midtown along with his exhibition with Jessie English at Bowery Residencies at 2 Rivington featured some of Smith’s famous duvet covers and soft sculptures installed in several beautiful installations. Smith’s most recent opening at Ivy Brown Gallery in the Meatpacking District, called “Total Smit,” continues to play with Smith’s ideas about experience and individuality.
Smith’s array of mixed mediums are profound and engage with each viewer uniquely and personally. He has been blowing up in the New York City art milieu and his work should not be overlooked.