'The Difference' - Exhibition featuring artists Michael Smither and Brad Novak (aka New Blood Pop).
Mixed Media - Collage, spray paint and acrylic on boxed wooden board.
800 x 800mm.
Exhibition ‘The Difference’ Brad Novak + Michael D Smither
Quantifying the different stages of an artist’s career, or rating their achievements, is something often done in retrospect. For me personally, it is happening in real time with nothing surpassing the honour of being chosen by MDS Smither for a two-person show in 2022 focused on portraiture.
I met Michael in 2008 at Artrite Screen-printing Ltd in Onehunga, Auckland. Glenn Taylor and Don Tee (the previous co-owner) offered me the chance to spend time in the factory with Michael. I can’t thank them enough for the valuable time spent learning about this process from an artist of Michael’s inimitableness. It’s helped make me a dedicated screen-printer too.
Michael is both an authentic painter and screen-printer. His dedication to his craft, and his skill, impressed me greatly, but I’ve valued his sense of humour and no bullshit 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.
The subjects are looking out at the world through a tech lens referencing my self-titled ‘Digital Dilemma’:
This increasingly technological world was supposed to make our lives easier. The allure of more downtime and a decreasing burden in our busy lives was a false promise if ever there was one. Rather than making our lives simpler, and slower, the internet-based world is speeding everything up. We think we are more connected (more ‘friends’… more likes… empty dopamine hits… which I’ve compared to crack cocaine in the 80’s – except this epidemic is more pervasive).
I believe those of us who can remember first-hand what it was like before the internet have a duty to future generations. These artworks continue to be my commentary, and warning, about the problems with an ever-increasing technological age.
I hope people who view this show can appreciate the differences in our styles. But also understand that there is an admiration, from my perspective, towards this senior NZ artist.
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, who introduced Christine to my work during my 1st solo show at Artrite Screen-printing’s factory in 2015.
If your space demands something unique, contact Christine Rabarts for your personal in-house art consultation.
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