Brady Smith: 5,000 sq. ft., 3 Car Garage
10/06/2023 - 10/28/2023
Opening Reception: First Friday, October 6, 6 - 10 PM
Movie Night featuring "The 'Burbs" (1989) and artist talk with Brady Smith: Saturday, October 21, 6.30 - 9 PM
5,000 sq. ft., 3 Car Garage is a love letter to the suburbs, and more specifically, suburban neighborhoods. When I first told people about this body of work, I quickly learned that I need to clarify that this is a love letter. Despite a quarter of the American population living in the suburbs, there is a common dislike and othering of the suburbs. While I understand some of the criticisms, particularly with the role of suburban development in early racial segregation, I find contemporary critiques of suburban neighborhoods to be misplaced.
This exhibition aims to mimic the action of walking down and back a suburban street. Starting at one end of the gallery, you view and observe each piece sitting in its own plot on the wall. After viewing half the show, you then experience the same work in reverse order, each piece mirroring the work seen prior. The reverse repetition of an out-and-back walk down a suburban street offers the opportunity to find new details in the so-called banal, monotonous houses. And much like a suburban neighborhood, some works in this show are repetitions of one idea, while other pieces are their own, standalone concept.
The printmaking methods in this show – screenprint and collagraph – were chosen for their impossibility of making mirrored images. The screen prints are mostly halftone, many of which are in CMYK, which is well known for its reproducibility in commercial printmaking. My inexperience with the medium, however, made it impossible to perfectly reverse and mirror the image, highlighting the differences within the repetitions. The collagraphs were made by creating the same image on both sides of a singular matrix. The plates were then printed simultaneously in the press – sandwiched between two sheets of paper – getting mirrored impressions in the same moment. Due to the challenges of proprioception (knowing where one’s body is in space), it was impossible to perfectly recreate the image on both sides of the plate. This again, led to highlighting the difference in the reversals.
Repetition, monotony, and sameness are inherent parts of the human experience, and difference is only understood through repetition. While the dense excitement of an urban environment or the open expanse of the rural are enticing, I invite you to think about and question your opinion of suburban neighborhoods as a landscape with its own merits.
Brady Smith is a visual artist, working and living in his hometown of Arvada, Colorado.
Conceptually, Brady is interested in exploring and portraying mental health through his artistic practice. Employing the use of two-dimensional visual art, he presents to the viewer ideas regarding depression, struggles with suicidal ideation, relational loneliness, and other common shared melancholic experiences. This is accomplished mostly through still life and portraiture in a variety of mediums ranging from all printmaking methods, drawing, painting, and other forms of mark-making. The goal of each piece is either to create a composition that conveys a feeling for the viewer to sympathize with to gain a better understanding of another human experience, or to educate a viewer on tools they can adopt to help with these shared struggles. While there is certainly a space for joyful artwork, it is essential to portray other emotions of the human condition to assist each other in coping with this thing called life.
Brady is currently earning a PhD in creative research from Transart Institute. He holds a BFA in 2-D studies with an emphasis in etching from Brigham Young University, Idaho and a Master’s in contemporary art from Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London.
Brady has exhibited his work internationally, has lectured in multiple universities, and has given painting and printmaking demos in a variety of museums and arts spaces. Brady's most recent solo exhibitions include: (Don’t Be Embarrassed by) Your Trouble with Living, an exhibition about suicidal ideation at the Arvada Center for Arts and Humanities; and To Fold and Repeat, an exhibition about repetition, ritual, and obsessive compulsive disorder at the Spori Gallery.
In 2015, Brady’s work was also unknowingly included in Buzzfeed’s 23 of the Absolute Worst Things that Could Ever, Ever Happen.