Taylor Smith Biography
Taylor Smith’s latest series of works reference recycled, discarded technology and consumerism. Smith’s floppy disk icon portraits are painted directly on obsolete 3.5 inch diskettes which are mounted on custom built panel. These artworks explore identity, privacy and collective history through portraiture and discarded technology. Within each painting, the viewer is taken on a journey of discovery by exploring the details of each diskette within the larger construct of her subject image. Smith’s work involves obsolete computer disks where the subject is as much the actual painting surface as it is the image painted upon it. She observes that today we go to great lengths to create a digital identity in addition to the actual lives we live, with the belief that these online records are only growing in importance and will outlive us all.
Additionally, in Smith’s “Luxurious Disaster” series, her newly constructed paintings of pop art’s most noted works confront 20th Century nostalgia, wealth, opulence, capitalism and art history squarely in the face. Smith creates a loosely connected group of artworks which take as their subjects luxury designer brands, street art, consumer products, iconic pop art imagery, the human body, prescription drugs and glitched computer data corruption. Smith has referred to these paintings as recycled American myths.
Smith appropriates source material from her own history, social media, pop culture, art history, luxury brands and found commercial packaging by using silkscreen, enamel, metal leaf, transfer and oil painting as a means to create her paintings. These works are often a critical take on the haves versus the have-nots. Smith fuses separate worlds together — the explosive and visual power of wealth, fashion and money contrasted with the personal memory, nostalgia and a swiftly changing society. Smith contrasts the highs and lows, the tragedies of our time, ones that are expressed in specific moments, crisis and the failures and inequalities of the American dream with the status symbols of the wealthy who are often unaware of these failures and presents them as history painting, in the tradition of the grand statements by history’s noted artists.
Indianapolis based painter, Taylor Smith (American b. 1963) has been working in oil and screen print for the past two decades. Smith graduated from Indiana University, Bloomington. Smith also studied contemporary art in Berlin Germany at the Academy of Fine Art (AdBK) and based her practice in Germany prior to moving back to the United States.
Smith’s primary practice is painting, however she also works with 8mm film and wet plate collodion glass plate photography. In her painting practice, Smith combines a contemporary interpretation of pop art with science, organic chemistry, abstraction and luxury brand consumerism.
Within my work, I use abstraction, figuration and familiar elements of pop art to speak to the corruption of technology, science, people and our natural resources. To accomplish this, I not only use a wide variety of materials and mediums including reclaimed silk screen frames, discarded analog technology, luxury brands and commercial packaging, but I also incorporate mathematics, organic chemistry, mechanics and photography into my work. I also work with 8mm film and other analog film mediums to blend the practice of filmmaking and painting. My recent work explores the relationship between pop culture, luxury brands, obsolescence and consumerism. Ultimately my intention is to blend painting with elements of social awareness, technology, chemistry and mechanics to create an unexpected and transformative experience.
2000 – 2001 Studied sculpture & the figure under Canadian artist Jim Ritchie (1929–2017) – Vence, France
1988 – 1989 AdBK – Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Berlin, Germany
1986 – 1987 AdBK – Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Nürnberg, Germany
1981 – 1985 Indiana University – Bloomington, IN USA
Power Plant Grant – Andy Warhol Foundation
Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship – Eli Lilly Endowment
The Eli Lilly Corporate Collection – Indianapolis, IN
The Eli Lilly Endowment Permanent Collection – Indianapolis, IN
Bauhaus Universität Weimar Collection – Weimar, Germany
Carnival Cruise Lines – Miami, FL
Daxton Boutique Hotels
Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts
The Wine Advocate / Robert Parker, Jr. – Baltimore, MD
Peter Mondavi – Napa Valley, CA
Charles Krug Winery Collection – St. Helena, CA
Starbucks Corp – Seattle, WA
Kinsey Institute, Indiana University – Bloomington, IN
Anton Klinger Foundation – Nürnberg, Germany