As our month of Lies That Build Empire draws to a close, we wanted to share with you one of our favorite submissions for the Cover Art Contest we held last year for The System Stinks. Nigel Smith has generously offered to let us showcase his paintings: this one called “Crossing (Bridge).”
Nigel Smith works mostly in oils although his practice also encompasses photography and Photoshop work, starting with either his own photography or found images. These are usually collaged to explore ideas of memory and dreams. The process often includes a slow layering of thin washes, building up and scratching back until a highly worked surface is produced. He likes to allow for random and improvised elements, watching the drips and flows form interesting textures that he then interacts with or chooses to leave intact. Nigel’s has developed two streams of work:’dreamscapes’, which are often ambiguous or partially abstracted with a landscape or figurative element, and a more abstract body of work.
Nigel’s work is often concerned with themes of isolation, human interaction, emigration, observation, media, sharing of information and political and geographical boundaries. Buddhist philosophies of impermanence and emptiness have also inspired much of his most recent work.
His main contemporary influences are Peter Doig and Gerhard Richter. Turner, Much, Bonnard, Hundertwasser, Max Gimblett and Dale Frank have been strong influences, too.
Anne McWilliams and Andrew Barns Graham have been influential tutors in Nigel’s progression and Cruz Jimenez has also provided valuable insight.