Lucien Smith - Yet I get a kick, yes, I get a kick, yes, I get a kick outta you (detail), 2012

Lucien Smith/ Lucien Smith

United States 1989

Painting

www.luciensmithstudio.com

Lucien Smith
Lucien Smith
Male
United States
1989

Lucien Smith is a an American painter who lives in New York. He makes abstract paintings, but also does sculptures and installations. This young creative mind finds inspiration in comic books, movies, love stories, both imaginary and personal. Lucien tries to put himself out there completely and to show how he feels with genuine honesty. As a young wonder kid, he rose to fame early, but he still wants to evolve, change, and to grow as an artist. After he graduated from Cooper Union School of Art, he got his first studio, and then after some time moved to a house with a yard in Hudson. Smith’s most creative phase had begun when he started spending time outside and connecting with nature. He did a TED talk for Columbia College and shared his coming out of age story. Not being a typical voice of the generation, this young artist tries to stay on a road of discovery and continues to work on himself as a man, and as an artist. His unlikely subject pairing is what makes him one of the most exciting artists at the market.

lucien smith work at new york gallery and auction house 2014
Lucien Smith and Jack Siegel – Imagined Nostalgia Exhibition, 2011, photo credits www.hypebeast.com

Early Works

Smith’s first solo exhibition called Imagined Nostalgia was held in 2011 at Cooper Union Gallery in New York, NY. For that show, he found inspiration from the textbooks he read in college. While studying for the exam in European Tourism he found out about a marketing strategy of organizing holiday tours that are filled with childhood reminiscence and peculiar nostalgia for the past. They are filled with tropes, pop-cultural archetypes, and people love them. In a need to feel like a child, safe and secure, people buy holiday arrangements, and Lucian, being a Millenial, never had experience with that sort of memorabilia. So, he and his friend Jack Siegel made an exhibition featuring cereal boxes, toys, and yearbook photos, showing how we tend to adorn memories from the past, making them more pleasant than they were. The same thing goes for marketing tricks, they create a simulacrum that survives solely on people’s need to beautify the past, forgetting that being a child is not made out only from chocolate and bike rides.

Smith uses inner navigation as one of the tools in order to search for subjects of the paintings

smith’s new work at skarstedt gallery in los angeles and new york
Lucien Smith – Rain Paintings series (Detail), 2011, image via Guyhepner.com

The Art of Lucien Smith

Changing interests all the time, from university history of art textbooks to magazines, Lucien finds himself sinking in pop-culture, in music or in books. However, he realizes that one has to feed the mind with this artsy or art-ish cultural content in order to stay connected with the world. Surprisingly this had led Smith to think about loneliness and how it’s represented. In comic books, there are always scenes where the main character is walking down the street while it’s raining. Rain is a symbol of loneliness and Lucien decided to make a series of canvases where he would explore this emotion. He put paint in a fire extinguisher and made a great series of Rain Paintings that helped him rose to success. At the time, he was going through a rough patch and a lot of Pollock‘s pictures, so the result was a series of monochromatic abstractions that, somehow, were made to be easy to the eye. Droplets of color on white canvas give a soothing vibe and Lucien wanted to use fire extinguisher so the gravity could play its part in the making of this piece.

Smith likes interaction with other artists and visit various exhibitions

new work at skarstedt and cooper gallery in new york and los angeles
Lucien Smith – Hot Sun, Salt in her Hair (Detail) (Left) / Mercury Rising (Detail) (Right), from Tigris series, 2014, image via Amazonaws.com

Dilligent House Owner

After moving out from the city into nature, Lucien began experimenting with new tools and evolving as an artist. He started using loose brush strokes to depict the river flow, but then he pours entire containers of paint on canvases in order to make the paint flow freely, in a determined way. He names his images after cites from Bible and creates so he could meditate. Spirituality and art go like bread and butter. After Tigris series of camouflage paintings from 2014, he decided to take a break and rest a bit. Internet was on fire, everyone was talking about his TED talk, complicated relationship with his father, and about how “real” he is. Cleverly staying out of the public eye, he returns with more new work, with a grown up attitude and, more importantly, with the desire to create more and more meaningful art. He made a new website, bought a house, and nowadays he is working on creating a positive and optimistic art environment around him.

Lucien Smith lives and works in New York.

Featured image: Lucien Smith – Yet I get a kick, yes, I get a kick, yes, I get a kick outta you (detail), 2012
All images copyright of Lucien Smith

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumGroup/Solo
2016Allergic to MorningMoran Bondaroff, Los Angeles, CASolo
2015Vicious CyclesSurf Lodge, Montauk, NYSolo
2015Matters of PatternSkarstedt, New YorkGroup
2015Intimate PaintingsHalf Gallery, New YorkGroup
2015Shoichiro/Projekcts ProjectsnArt Stage Singapore Group
2014TigrisSkarstedt, New York, NY, United StatesSolo
2014OHWOWnMiartGroup
2014ARSENAL MONTRÉAL+TORONTOGroup
2013Nature is my ChurchSalon 94, New York, NYSolo
2013Scrap MetalBill Brady / KC, Kansas City, MOSolo
2013A Clean SweepSuzanne Geiss, Co., New York, NYSolo
2013The Writing is on the WallJonathan Viner, London, UKGroup
2013Sunsets and Pussy, with Ed Ruscha, Betty Tompkins and Piotr UklanksiMarianne Boesky, New York, NYGroup
2013Merci Mercy, curated by Christine Messineo980 Madison Avenue, New York, NYGroup
2013Beyond the ObjectBrand New Gallery, Milan, ITGroup
2012Good VibrationsHalf Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2012Seven Rain PaintingsOHWOW, Los Angeles, CASolo
2012It Ain’t Fair 2012OHWOW, Miami Beach, FLGroup
2011Needle in the Hay and Cripple CreekRitter-Zamet, London, UKSolo
2011Imagined NostalgiaCooper Union, New York, NYSolo
2011HomebodyThe Stillhouse Group, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2011It Ain’t Fair: MaterialismOHWOW, Miami, FLGroup
2010Objects that Love You Back, curated by Grear PattersonStillhouse, New York, NYGroup
2010It Ain’t Fair 2010OHWOW, Miami, FLGroup
2009New Deal, curated by Kyle Thurman and Matt MoravecArt Production Fund Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2009May Flowers, curated by Scott KeightleyNew York, NYGroup
2009I want a little sugar in my bowl, curated by Terence KohASS Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2008StillhouseSeven Eleven Gallery, New York, NYGroup