"Freight" by Darden Smith
artist: DARDEN SMITH
13.50" x 16.25" Lithograph and Silkscreen; Paper – BFK Rives 280 gram, Printed at Burning Bones Press, Houston, TX by Pat Masterson, Western Skies Lithographs 2022, Edition 15 of 20, 17.75" x 20.75" frame
Darden Smith’s multi-media practice brings together songs, photography, drawing, illustration, video, printmaking, essays and performance. He seeks to find the humor in the mundane, the beauty in the rubble and the grace of the overlooked detail in order to translate what he sees into something new. He’s not interested in making an exact replica because, as he says, “We already have that.” Moving between and combining mediums allows him a broader horizon in which to work. His music is rooted in the Texas songwriting traditions, and as such, the power of story is prevalent in his works. In his mind, a piece, whether it’s a song, drawing or photograph or a print, isn’t finish until it sings.
As a visual artist Smith is influenced by cartoons, line drawings, Karl Blossfeldt’s nature photography, Cy Twombly’s paintings, Francesco Clementi’s watercolors, his quite extensive stamp collection, and what he calls rhythmic visual dissonance – the objects and repeated patterns our lives.
Along with releasing 17 full length albums, Darden has composed music for film, TV and dance/theater. His symphony, Grand Motion (1999) was commissioned by the Austin Symphony. The Habit of Noticing: Using Creativity to Make a Life (and a Living) was published in 2018. Western Skies, (2022) Smith’s most expansive project to date, encompasses an album of new music; a spoken word album of essays; a book of photographs, lyrics and writings; lithographs; drawings and video. Darden’s visual art has been shown at Bale Allen Gallery (2018), Flatbed Press (2019) and Mark Smith Art (2020), Redbud Gallery (2022) and Austin’s Davis Gallery (2023). His work is in private and corporate collections in the US, UK and Belgium, as well as the Library of Congress’ Prints and Photographs Collection.
© 2022 Darden Smith / Bull By The Horns
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