Bio

Vitae

biography



WL Smith, an American conceptual artist born in the State of Rhode Island, the youngest of four children, and raised on the Southern California Coast during a time of profound social and political events of the late 1960's and 70's. Smith currently divides time between Los Angeles and New York.

Smith's father, a Los Angeles businessman, artist, and musician is a descendent of Anne Hutchinson, notable 1500's settler to England's American Colonies in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Netherlands.

Emigrating from São Miguel, Portugal to the United States in the early 1900's, Smith's mother's family settled on the Rhode Island coast.
With no formal training, Smith's first painting was created in 1984 while living in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles, and first exhibiting work in 1990.

Living in Los Angeles provided convenient access to the arts with MOCA's permanent collection being a favorite. Andy Warhol Smith's earliest influences includes the work of Mark Rothko, Antoni Tapies, Salvador Dali, and a fascination with the life and career of Andy Warhol.

The studio relocated in 1992 to a loft in the East Village Arts District of Image Downtown Long Beach, California where the abstract paintings evolved into sociopolitical narratives featuring cast-off materials collected from the adjacent beach or gifted by supporters.
Paintings are created on the floor of the studio using non-traditional methods like hands, trowels, flatware, rags, and gravity. Paintings are signed and dated on the back of each canvas.

Most known for sociopolitical mixed media paintings on canvas, Smith also works in photography, dystopian sculpture from cast-off materials, large scale painted architectural surfaces, digital media, and environmental lighting and design.

In 2009, after spending the year in New York, the studio relocated 100-miles east of Los Angeles off North Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs, California.
WL Smith

exhibitions

WL Smith Darks Solo
2005 Indifference – Portfolio; Long Beach.
2005 Left Behind – Open Gallery; Long Beach.
2002 Yesterday – Portfolio; Long Beach.
1998 In A NutsHell – Artscape; Long Beach.
1997 Hindsight – Portfolio; Long Beach.
1995 Degrees of Perspective – TOMA; Long Beach.
1994 Alternative Perception – Portfolio; Long Beach.
1994 Beyond Abstraction – City Frameworks; Long Beach.

Group
2010 Artists for Animals “Save-A-Pet Fundraiser” – Back Street Arts; Palm Springs.
2006 United Care Charity Auction “An Evening Of Wine And Song” – CSULB.
2002 S.E. Charity Auction – Eckstrom Gallery; Laguna Beach.
1996 Unveiled – Dark's Art Parlour; Santa Ana.
1993 Uncooperative Abstraction – The Project Box / ArtWeek; Los Angeles.
1992 Public Corporation for the Arts Juried Exhibition, Peter Frank – LBCC.
1992 Holiday Exhibition – Portfolio; Long Beach.
1992 Reflections of the Urban Environment – Studio of David DiMichele.
1991 The Nature Of Importance – Portfolio; Long Beach.
1991 Opening Exhibition – Wells Gallery; Riverside.


awards and honors

1992 Public Corporation for the Arts – Registry Exhibition, Juried by Peter Frank. LBCC Gallery. Awarded Entry for Silent Screams.

press

Schoenkopf, Rebecca; Long Beach Rocks, O.C. Weekly, 3-28-97, p 27.
Gottlieb, Shirle; Monochromatic Message, Press Telegram, 3-18-97, pages C1/C2.
Buck, Lisa; Melancholic ‘Hindsight’ Shows Surprising Insight, Downtown Gazette, 3-97.
Yoon, Linda; Dark's Art Parlour, The Periodical of Dark Art, Issue 3, p 8.
Jones, Inigo; Caffeinated Art, The Catalyst Newspaper, 3-94.
Metivier, George; The Missing Link, The Marina News, 3-3-94, p 9.
Montgomery, Tiffany; Artist Paints What He Can't Scream, The Signal, 2-2-94, p 2.
Sasway, Mark; Alternative Perception, The Event, 3-10-94, p 6.
Scarborough, James; Uncooperative Abstraction, the ProjectBox / ArtWeek, 12-93

private collections

Maira Gallegos; Dr. Jonathan and Erica Brower; Denice J. Jenkins; Donna Mae Bernhardt; Buck and Janet Roberson; Mark Sasway; Matthew Lee Rethmeier; Ryan Taylor Aberg; Kenneth Allen Trainer Jr. Jr.; Charlene Peterson; Tom Major; Rachel Lillian Goldman; C. Todd Burton; Marga Kansteiner; Davis and Andrea Krumins; Rachael Una; Daniel Martin Mellitz; Erica Brooke Aberg; Duane Osterlind; Dave Koehne; Andrea M. Sciarrotta; Michael A. Rose; Sharron Amaris Hefner; Steve Bernhardt; Mr. and Mrs. Moo Park; Tom and Maria Scheupbach; Kerstin Kansteiner; Ranell Cutter Racine; Kari Bernhardt; Susan M. Mills; H. Rosenberg; The Estate of Dorothea Ann Smith; The Estate of Mr. Ronald K. Brown; Dr. and Mrs. William Slater; Michael and Wendy McVicker; MSW; Tarra Thomas; The Estate of BC Whited II; Terri Quam; Mr. Dan Gallegos; Mr. Richard Roude; Ceresa Michelle Aberg; James and Linda Williams; Mr. Norman Feeney; Kristi Ann Bernhardt; Mr. and Mrs. Herman Velarde; The WL Smith Revocable Living Trust.