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Mike Peter Smith

 
The Handyman Dreams of Stinky Cheese and Rustic Bread
 

Mike smith

mike smith close up

Mike Peter Smith

Skull (The Handyman Dreams of Stinky Cheese and Rustic Bread)

In detailed sculptures derived from the human skull, Smith elaborates on the idea of Memento mori; transforming it into a range of mythic apparitions, narrative landscapes and anthropological references to past, present and future.

Mike Peter Smith’s sculpture is a life-sized skull upon which a Lilliputian village of civilization resides. The grouping of houses on the cranium appears to be a pleasant and inviting hamlet. The small town is at odds with the morose skull, a traditional vanitas symbol of life’s brevity. In this juxtaposition, not only is the transience of life suggested, but also the finite nature of culture and civilization.

Artist’s statement:

A small pastoral village rests upon the landscape of a large skull.  Simple houses and strange caves dot the largely barren world while sutures and cracks riddle the terrain like fault lines.  The empty structures suggest some mysterious tragedy or natural disaster…

In the sculpture, The Handyman Dreams of Stinky Cheese and Rustic Bread, the Lilliputian village resides upon a large skull that exhibits primitive features: large brow, low forehead, flat nose, prognathic palette.  It resembles an ancient fossil hominid, Homo habilis – the “handy man.”  As one of the earliest known toolmakers, Homo habilis could not have imagined how his own rudimentary ability, tool making, would evolve to completely change the way in which he interacts with that same environment.  For him, stone tool making was about breaking apart bones to eat the nutritious marrow inside. Though the notion of a safe community, ample food, and idle time is a fantastic premonition to the primitive human, it is nonetheless a distant, nostalgic dream to his contemporary descendant.

In this work my interest in evolution centers on the human skeleton. As I study the bones, the sutures, crests, and various physical features begin to suggest something of the person’s life.  Skulls cease to be anonymous or empty, but instead suggest individual narratives that direct the artwork’s development.

CV

Born 1972 in Hemet, CA
Lives and works in Astoria, NY 
EDUCATION
2000
MFA in Sculpture, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
1997
BFA in Sculpture, The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2007
Void Thoughts on Remote Time, Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York, NY
2006
Hominid Vacation, Ambrosino Gallery, Miami, FL
2005
…and other stories, Bodybuilder & Sportsman Gallery, Chicago, IL
2004
John In The Desert, Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York, NY
2003
Star, Bodybuilder & Sportsman Gallery, Chicago, IL
GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2009
NADA/ART IN/VISIBLE SPACES, 395, Brooklyn, NY
 
You Killed My Pretty Things, St. Claude Gallery, New Orleans, LA
 
Texas Firehouse, Long Island City, NY
 
Give Them What They Never Knew They Wanted, Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York, NY
 
Disorganized, Museum 52, New York, NY
2008
Solid Gold, Vox Populi, Philadelphia, PA
 
Romancing the Skull, Mark Moore Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2006
All Terrain, Parkland Art Gallery, Champaign, IL
 
Paradise Lost, Frederieke Taylor Gallery, New York, NY
 
Parts to the Wbole, Vox Populi, Philadelphia, PA
 
The Studio Visit, Exit Art, New York, NY
2004
Face Off, Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, NY
 
Queens International, 2004, Queens Museum of Art, Queens, NY
 
Some Exhaust, Lehmann Maupin Gallery, August, New York, NY
 
Cakewalk, Ambrosino Gallery, Miami, Fl
 
Art Chicago, Bodybuilder & Sportsman Gallery, Chicago, IL
 
Terrorvision, Exit Art, New York, NY
 
AIM 24, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY
 
The Armory Show, Bodybuilder & Sportsman Gallery, New York, NY
 
Plane and Elevation, Art In General, New York, NY
2003
Doing Business: Dysfunctional Corporate Culture, Contemporary Art Galleries,
 
University of Connecticut, Storrs & Stamford, CT
 
Art Chicago, Bodybuilder & Sportsman Gallery, Chicago, IL
 
American Dream, Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, NY
 
The Storefront, Weather Records, Greenpoint, NY
2002
Escape, Standard Gallery, Chicago, IL
2001
Light, Renaissance Society Benefit Auction, Chicago, IL
 
Models and Materials, Bodybuilder & Sportsman Gallery, Chicago, IL
 
The Summer Show, Gallery 312, Chicago, IL
 
Multiples, NFA Space & Bodybuilder & Sportsman Gallery, Chicago, IL
 
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Gallery 2, Chicago, IL
2000
Fantastic Voyage, 6100 S. Blackstone, Chicago, IL
 
New Talent 2, Contemporary Art Workshop, Chicago, IL
 
Electraslip Knife, 2153 W. Division, Chicago, IL
1999
The Multiples Show, Bodybuilder & Sportsman Gallery, Chicago, IL
 
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Gallery 2, Chicago, IL
1998
Mixed Media & Works on Paper, Union Pacific Depot Building, Salt Lake City, UT
AWARDS AND GRANTS
2004
Artist In The Marketplace Program, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY
2002
Slide Slam, Art In General, New York, NY
2000
MFA Graduate Fellowship, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
 
First Place Custom Action Figure Contest, Toyfare Magazine, Congers, NY
1997
Individual Artist’s Grant, The Utah Arts Council, Salt Lake City, UT
1996
Utah Traveling Exhibition Program, Springville, UT
VISITING ARTIST LECTURES
2003
Visiting Artist, Sculpture Department, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA

http://www.baileygallery.com/artists_02.cfm?fid=103

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