Michael Smither & Brad Novak Exhibition - The Difference

A few words from Michael Smither about the joint exhibition 'The Difference' with Brad Novak...

I decided to show these portraits in tandem with the artist Brad Novak as his work was so different from mine that it might reveal an aspect of portrait painting that is not apparent unless put in this unusual context.
Generally speaking, it is the likeness that entrances the viewer. Recognition is the central element, recognition of the subject's character. Features of the face, ears, nose, eyes, lips neck and head are what we select to give recognition.
Recognition invites speculation.
A portrait is an artist’s interpretation of his experience of the subject, and in the process of the painting, the artist moves deeper than recognition.
Portraiture is always a very private thing.
The ‘work’ itself is what the artist makes. It can become a trophy, a bit of history or entertainment.
The skull is a cup of bone where ideas can grow.
Every line on a face is evidence of life’s singular experiment.
Action and reaction.
Evolutionary and monumental adventures in physics


And a few words from Brad Novak (aka New Blood Pop) about the joint exhibition 'The Difference', with Michael Smither...

Quantifying the different stages of an artist’s career, or rating their achievements, is something often done in retrospect. For me personally, nothing has surpassed the honour of being chosen by Michael Smither for a two-person show in October 2022 focused on portraiture. 
I met Michael in 2008 at Artrite Screen-printing studios in Onehunga, Auckland. The directors offered me the chance to spend time in the factory with Michael. I can’t thank them (and him) enough for the valuable time spent learning about this process from an artist of Michael’s inimitableness. It’s helped make me a devoted screen-printer too.
Michael is both an authentic painter and screen-printer. His dedication to his craft and his skill impresses me greatly, but I value his sense of humour and no-bull approach to making and selling art most of all. He is nothing but brave and that is inspiring to behold. 
For this show, I’ve chosen to paint a group of musicians that I admire. A continuation of my ‘Sound Organised in Time’ series. These connect to Michael’s affinity and gifts with sound and music (something which is foreign to me).
I hope people who view this exhibition can appreciate the differences in our styles. But also understand that there is an admiration, from my perspective, towards this senior NZ artist who continues to leave a mark on our lives.
Finally, many thanks to Christine Rabarts Art Dealer who has been a steadfast supporter of my work for many years. This is something I also owe to Michael, after he introduced Christine to my work during my 1st solo show at Artrite Screen-printing’s Factory in 2015.
Come along and witness ‘The Difference’!

Exhibition Opening: 10am 15th October
Location: 24 Wharf Road, Coromandel Town