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Scott Richards Contemporary Art presents Elegy, a collection of allegorical figurative paintings by DAVID MICHAEL SMITH. An opening cocktail reception for the artist will take place on Thursday, February 2, 5:30-7:30 pm; and on Saturday, February 4, 4-6 pm Smith will be present to discuss his work.
In this new series, Smith delves into the realm of tragic and unforeseen consequences, focusing on our haphazard stewardship of the planet. The allegorical images hearken back in style to elegant Renaissance Madonnas and saints, while simultaneously borrowing imagery from contemporary pop culture: in When Icarus Fell, It Was Spring, a robed Saint Francis finds himself tending a wounded deer, while sharing the stage with a falling satellite and toy robot.
The surfaces are smooth and exquisitely painted, with highly stylized figures set in intricate landscapes. The subjects are cloaked in religious iconography, creating a sensation of being in the presence of sacred devotional objects; this is reinforced in many of the paintings by the artist’s use of elaborate handcrafted frames. In some of the works, young animals representing threatened species interact with the human figures.
An essential element of the paintings is the use of intricately carved and assembled frames. In Milk and Honey, dried bees are embedded behind watch glass; The Ninth Wave incorporates a moonstone egg, along with hundreds of pearls hand-glued to its surface; and an ornate gold leafed triptych construction frames CH4, in the style of a Gothic altarpiece.
A Bay Area native, Smith’s work can be found in many prestigious local and national private collections. This will be his third solo exhibition in San Francisco and his first with Scott Richards Contemporary Art. A color catalog will accompany the exhibition.