Corey Smith is a multi-media visual artist who currently resides between, Los Angeles, Lake Tahoe, and Portland, OR. He has been exhibiting his work in galleries throughout the US for over a decade. Smith has been featured in countless print magazines and online sources.
Smith grew up in the Pacific Northwest spending his time skateboarding which led to a professional snowboard career. With his creative skateboard influenced urban riding he was able to travel and snowboard around the world filming for several notable snowboard movies and appearing in every major international snowboard magazine. After a brief hiatus from the snowboarding world Smith emerged back onto the scene with his avant-garde handmade snowboard company playfully titled “Spring Break”. His experimental and future primitive snowboard design caught the attention of international snowboard media. Spring Break has been revered as one of the most culturally important movements in snowboarding.
Smith's high-gloss, ultra-flat paintings capture the joys of plasticity and pre-fab environments, celebrity as the ultimate blank canvas, and the absurd hyperboles of modern leisure. But rather than repackage the manufactured world into an aestheticized form–a la post-Warholian Pop–Smith favors a post-Pop approach that brings into day-glo focus the dark vision at the corner of the spectator's eye. The paintings find their subject in the tension between the works' fatalistic undercurrents and the celebratory aura created by Smith's use of bold color and bright-lined contour.
His sculptures and mixed media works develop some of these same themes, but rather than map plasticity onto flat canvas, Smith instead maps flatness onto plastic forms–whether by painting across arrays of commercially molded objects or by making use of the naturally deflective precision-cut panes of modern machinery.
In addition to his visual works Smith has also created an ongoing and evolving performance art piece in the form of a fictional religion called the “Church of Quantum Interconnectedness” . Founded in 2010, this faux new-age inspired religion is based on his sculptural piece called the “Mind Development Pyramid” a healing device in which participants are invited to interact with. They are given only one simple repetitive instruction; "Let the Healing Begin".
Smith's photography develops some of the same themes as his sculpture and painting–surface, extremity–but abandons ironies for a more intimate perspective. Most of his subjects are close friends or lovers, and Smith documents them at points where excess bleeds either into empathy or its impossibility, and where the romance of abandon intersects with abandonment.
His works are a Death Valley realism, infused with both sunny Californian optimism and morbid premonition. This is awful, deeply wrong, utterly fantastical stuff–a distillation of a time, a place, and a generation that are always already beside themselves.