Paul Anthony Smith, Untitled, 7 Women, 2019, unique picotage on inkjet print, colored pencil, spray paint on museum board. Courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.
Paul Anthony Smith, Untitled, 7 Women, 2019, unique picotage on inkjet print, colored pencil, spray paint on museum board. Courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

Paul Anthony Smith is the next artist in the Riley Cap Gallery at the Joslyn Art Museum opening October 5. Smith’s mixed media art is inspired by the concept of a hybrid identity, particularly by those who have migrated across borders.

With a focus on the African and Caribbean diasporas, the artist also brings this hybrid identity to his picotages, named for a pattern-printing technique that entails pressing textured blocks onto fabric. The realism of photography paired with the abstraction of patterns creates nuance, divergence and depth to his subjects.

Muchlike the cultural traditions Smith references, the indelible marks made by cutting and pressing left on the surface retrace the story of these people and their traditions as they evolve into a new hybrid identity. The layering of image and pattern highlights the aspects of identity that may be obscured or guarded as well as those that are heightened because of the intervention.

Paul Anthony Smith opens October 5 at Joslyn Art Museum’s Rile CAP Gallery and is on view through January 19. Smith will join Joslyn’s Phil Willson Curator of Contemporary Art, Karin Campbell, in conversation on October 10 at 6pm in the Abbott Lecture Hall. For more information, visit paulanthonysmith.net or joslyn.org.


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