Dave Smith was born in Derbyshire, England & studied painting at Derby College of Art & Hornsey College of Art. He was a founding member of the art collective Electric Color Company (www.electriccolourcompany.com) in London in 1969, creating artefacts & retail environments for some of the cities iconic fashion boutiques of the period, including Mr. Freedom & Paradise Garage on Chelsea's King's Rd.. He left England for the Bahamas in 1973, where he lived for 17 years, exhibiting frequently in Nassau & Miami, Florida. He moved to Los Angeles in 1990 where he supported himself primarily by working in the tv & motion picture studios as a union scenic artist. While living & working mostly in California, he continues to maintain a prescence in the burgeoning art scene of the Bahamas with showings of his work.
He is one of the 11 principal artists in Artists of the Bahamas, a 2008 documentary feature film that explores the lives and works of key visual artists whose talents contributed to the initial art movement in the Bahamas.Profiles & trailer can be found at: www.artistsofthebahamas.com . An exhibition based on the film was mounted at the Waterloo Center for the Arts in Waterloo, Iowa in 2011 & subsequently traveled to the Museum of Fine Arts at Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL in 2012. The exhibition opened at it's final venue The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, in April 2013.
His most recent solo show was at the D'Aguilar Art Foundaion, Nassau, Bahamas Dec. 2015 thru Jan. 2016.
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Dave Smith works in a subversive Pop mode that is both humorous & touching. His Orange County Bathroom with Choice of 3 Vanities is a quirky parody of a model home brochure. Set against a newly constructed bathroom wall with a glistening shower head, three bathroom vanities float in a cluster, held together by a postcard view of a suburban roofline with palm trees. The suburban ideal of owning your own home becomes mundane when it boils down to the selection of 3 boring vanities.
Smith precisely skewers the homogeneity of suburban life with other amusing pieces. Dream Kitchen reads in an interesting abstract as well as a sample for floor tile for the perfect house. All the amenities of suburban life are listed between the diagonal lines including "Spill Proof Shelves", "Digital Timer", "Fluff Cycle" and "Thru-Door Ice Dispenser". In Western Landscape, brilliantly colored images partially obscure a wallpaper landscape with cowboy and Indians. The Day-Glo primary colors are the only jarring note in this patterned landscape, and two motor homes race through trying to see it all. Smith's meticulously rendered cavases have a subtle irony that perfectly evokes the bland boredom of life in suburbia.
Excerpt from: "FLOWMASTER" review by Kathy Zimmerer, ARTSCENE, April 1999. (www.artscenecal.com)
Among the paintings in the show were two strong works by Dave Smith, an English-born artist who lives in the Bahamas. In these immaculately painted canvases lush with Caribbean turquoises and hot pinks, he offers acerbic commentary on the legacy of American capitalism in the islands by subjecting to startling juxtapositions and shifts in perspective such images as frame cottages, old American cars, appliances, idyllic stretches of beach, and even a nail-polish brush provocatively loaded with gleaming red polish. Smith renders the picture-postcard Caribbean scenes with fluid detail and then subjects their beauty to the lacerating irony of his compositions.
Excerpt of review by Elisa Turner, from ARTnews, Oct. 1988. ('FLORIDA INVITATIONAL', OK South Gallery, Miami, FL.)