Leslie Smith Nude
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  • Age:
  • 50
  • What is my sex:
  • Lady
  • Languages:
  • Italian
  • What I like to listen:
  • Rap
  • Other hobbies:
  • Shopping
  • Smoker:
  • No


Analysis Andrew Gardner August 21, Sex scandals are nothing new to American politics and yet have an uncanny ability to rouse the American public. Her work has been cited recently as the nation watched the release of a scandalous photo that has — at least for now — toppled Jerry Falwell Jr. Through her analysis of these scandals, Smith attempts to uncover why some politicians in the face of quite damning evidence emerge unscathed while other politicians are condemned for comparatively less egregious accusations. The answer, she says, lies within the conflicting stories American Christianity has created about masculine sexuality. On the one hand, Smith contends, American Christianity has perpetuated the narrative that men are leaders.


I took a trip to Madison, Wisconsin, in December, when the sky was gray but before the temperature had turned bitter.

Smith is an assistant professor of drawing and painting at University of Wisconsin-Madisonwhere he has a generous studio in the art building on campus. During my visit, he showed me his new paintings, which are purely abstract, comprising multi-panel shaped canvases, vivid, high-key color, and wobbly geometric shapes. We talked about the painting process, his shift to shaped canvases, and his transition from figurative work to abstraction.

Sharon Butler: Tell me a little about your background. When did you start painting? My father was a photographer for USA Today, and he loved the arts. He saw the world through his camera.

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He took one everywhere. Art became serious for me at the Albert Einstein Visual Art Center where I attended high school—painting was the best thing ever. I had two good years making paintings at Yale. I focused on how to make paintings self-subsisting entities—experienced on their own terms despite any aesthetic relationship to history or the projections of others.

I wanted to know if it is possible for painting to validate itself by referencing itself? In doing so subsisting autonomously. Afterwards, I began to realize that the presence of figuration was nude important to me than an actual figure. Figures led to too many questions: Why are these figures black? Why are they white? I got tired of all the leslies, constant scrutiny through the lens of smith.

People expected my work to have overt political content, and there was an expectation that I should be speaking about a black experience. I mean, I thought I was; just in my experience and as an abstractionist. So I got rid of everything that pigeonholed the work into any single category. SB: And now, you are still working abstractly, but have begun using shaped canvases.

How did that happen? LS: This is one of the last pieces I made before I switched over to shaped canvases [he points to a rectangular canvas]. The shape in the middle is a window.

I made a series of paintings based on a room — flattening space, create an image that was also an abstraction. I was interested in a few different variables: a back wall, portal — some kind of light phenomenon.

The more I made these paintings the more I cared about the recurring window shape, and I just decided to make a shaped canvas based on it. I made several in that rounded portal shape. SB: What was it like working on shaped supports after working within a rectangle for so long? LS: I started the first shaped piece in the summer of It was a challenge on every level.

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The figure-ground relationship became open-ended. All these seemingly new things were happening for me.

The geometry of the shapes inside was becoming more complex, too, due to the influence of multi-dimensional geometry. SB: Can you talk a little more specifically about your relationship to post-painterly concepts?

As a result my recent works are image-objects, that fluctuate between pictorial flatness and the illusion of perceptual dimensionality. Flat image vs.

LS: Yes: a recognizable flat shape vs. For example, the color of a flat sheet of paper vs. In the old work I tried to keep the two types of shapes separate but the outcome always seemed predictable. Then I began thinking that the shapes could work together — and I started trying to create meaningful harmony.

And the outcome is much less predictable. SB: Does that explain why you are drawn to imperfect shapes?

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Because imperfection is less predictable? It feels, in fact, misshapen.

Maybe through some processes it ended up like this. When they are all seen together, the subtle shifts in each shape create narratives. So I think the crux of the shift came from introducing two canvases to each other. There are a thousand different ways to make a mark, and after you explore them all, you start to get bored.

Putting one shaped canvas next to another creates a new kind of line. You need to create marks that feel real and authentic. Putting canvases together has so many possibilities. SB: Tell me about your process. Do you make studies for the paintings?

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Super shiny. When the oil hits the paper, it pools before the surface accepts the oil. It sits right on top of the paper. My experiments on the Kromekote are like loose studies.

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In the studies I focus on the most important elements and flush them out. SB: Whose work are you looking at these days? LS: Most recently, Jack Tworkov. Super important. There is something great about the way he responds to humanist concerns with abstraction.

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I saw a show of his work at Alexander Gray two or three months ago. I was blown away. SB: And the gap between what you love and what you make. LS: Yes. LS: I agree.

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I believe abstraction can get to that. In order for images to communicate, to be connected to social and cultural issues, you need to get your audience to dive into abstraction. But when you see really good work you know it has happened.

Wednesday, March 2, through Sunday, March 6, To use content beyond the scope of thispermission is required. It's great to hear a young artist speak so frankly about abstract painting that is accessible. Save my name,and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Leslie Smith III in his studio. One Comment Tod Roulette March 6, at pm. Follow us twitter instagram mail. In her review of the Flemish detective series Professor T, Indeed, the notion that it is dead — or, more kindly, moribund — is so vapid and There's a lot to see this month. We're in the thick of hurricane Hastily cropped and blurry in Get Two Coats via.

Two Coats of Paint.

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