THE STRUGGLE TO SURVIVE - SERIES
b. 1959, Naples, Italy
Ed Smith was born in Naples, Italy, in 1959, and raised on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He received his BFA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an MFA from City University of New York–Brooklyn College.
After teaching painting and drawing at Queens college in New York for 12 years, Smith came South to teach at Louisiana State University, where he became fascinated by the landscape, and intrigued by the intersection of wildlife and industry in South Louisiana. Smith was also very influenced by the work of John James Audubon, an American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter who lived over 200 years ago, and chronicled extensively all types of American birds with detailed illustrations in their natural habitats.
His paintings are about the results of the clash that occurs where nature and man collide. In 1979, Smith was one of the original crew members of the conservation ship, The Sea Shepard. Environmental concerns have played an important role in his work ever since.
Smith's work has been exhibited at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, The Islip Museum, Islip, New York, North Carolina Museum of Natural History in Raleigh, The Huntsville Museum in Alabama, The Walter Anderson Museum in Mississippi, The Contemporary Art Center in Mobile, Alabama, Soren Christensen Gallery in New Orleans, Redbud Gallery in Houston, Texas, Clark Gallery in New York, Whitney Art Works in Portland, Maine, Dome Gallery in New York, among others. He is scheduled to have exhibitions at The Cape Cod Museum of Art in Massachusetts and The Appleton Museum in Florida.
Smith is currently a professor of painting at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He divides his time between Louisiana and Maine.
“Ed Smith’s paintings captivate with their lush depiction of an apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic world. Or perhaps it’s just now. On his canvases birds hold their ground resolutely—despite their precarious perches in an environment gone colorfully wrong. Acid rain, acid clouds, acid sunsets provide cold comfort. Acutely aware of their dilemma, the birds glare at the sky, at each other, at the viewer, implicating us in their plight. Though these images evidence a naturalist’s eye, Smith is working his own angles on the man-made natural landscape of the 21st century. The birds of America are no longer the source of easy reveries, but in their mute survival they remain objects of wonder.”
- Eric Etheridge, journalist and photographer, NYC