Thursday, July 7, 2016

Adam Parker Smith

 I have always thought that art, or at least the personality of an artwork, resembles its creator in one way or another — sort of the dog and their owner theory. Case in point: Adam Parker Smith. His current show, "Oblivious the Greek," up now at The Hole NYC, is a playfully sharp body of work that uses just the right amount of social sarcasm to keep the viewer from feeling made fun of. I swung by to make a drawing a couple weeks before the show was complete. Like parts of Frankenstein before his assembly, balloons collected on the floor halfway between their helium release and their new life as artwork. It was a complicated, but rewarding, mess to draw; a real behind-the-scenes experience.

Smith uses objects that overflow the shelves of party supply stores and suburban mega-marts to build his sculptures. You'll only find fake marble and plant-life tangled up in these pop explosions, nothing that is actually derived from the earth, as opposed to the Greek sculptures that he alludes to in the title of his show. With the work laid out in the middle of the gallery space like a sculpture garden, the viewer is encouraged to weave in and out of the gigantic forms before discovering their hollow backs. On the walls hang collections of celebration: everything from the brightly colored wacky noodles that  we float mindlessly around on in swimming pools to the dust covered display cakes that sit in the windows of Lower East Side bake shops. While experiencing the sheer joyousness of the works' bright and shiny character, Adam leaves you with room to consider their somewhat ominous familiarity. What makes our society tick? Crappy pretend stuff. Baudrillard argues that a simulacrum is not a copy of the real, but becomes truth in its own right. There is a whole lot of truth in these pieces. Smith's large scale sculptures encourage a poignant kind of self reflection while still managing to make that contemplation fun.
                                                              Image Courtesy of The Hole NYC
 Image Courtesy of The Hole NYC
                                                      Image Courtesy of The Hole NYC
I was able to partake in the after party for Adam and painter Caroline Larsen's openings at The Hole a few weeks back. As energetic as the work itself, the table overflowed with pop conversation, boisterous karaoke, and amazing Chinese food. A proper celebration and a night to remember. Smith is in a group show at Eric Firestone Gallery that opens July 16th in the Hamptons, and his show at The Hole NYC is up until the 24th of July. To see more of his work go here

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