Bio

bio

WL Smith, an American conceptual artist born in the State of Rhode Island, the youngest of four children, and raised on the Southern California Coast during a time of profound social and political events of the late 1960's and 70's. Smith currently divides time between Los Angeles and New York.

Smith's father, a Los Angeles businessman, artist, and musician is a descendent of Anne Hutchinson, notable 1500's settler to England's American Colonies in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Netherlands.

Emigrating from São Miguel, Portugal to the United States in the early 1900's, Smith's mother's family settled on the Rhode Island coast.

With no formal training, Smith's first paintings were created in 1984 while living in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles, first exhibiting work in 1990.

Living in Los Angeles provided convenient access to the arts with MOCA's permanent collection being a favorite. Andy Warhol Smith's earliest influences includes the work of Mark Rothko, Antoni Tapies, Salvador Dali, and a fascination with the life and career of Andy Warhol.

The studio relocated in 1992 to a loft in the East Village Arts District of Image Downtown Long Beach, California where the abstract paintings evolved into sociopolitical narratives featuring cast-off materials collected from the adjacent beach and gifted by supporters.

Paintings are created on the floor of the studio using non-traditional methods like hands, trowels, flatware, rags, and gravity. Paintings are signed and dated on the back of each canvas.

Most known for sociopolitical mixed media paintings on canvas, Smith also works in photography, dystopian sculpture from cast-off materials, large scale painted architectural surfaces, digital media, and environmental lighting and design.

In 2009, after spending the year in New York, the studio relocated 100-miles east of Los Angeles off North Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs, California.

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