Tuesday, March 1, 2011

PRESS RELEASE: Michael Smith at Emile A. Gruppe Gallery in Jericho

Michael Smith's new show, Rural Pop Art and Other Behavioral Oddities opens at the Emile A. Gruppe Gallery, in Jericho , Vermont Thursday, March 3 and will hang through Sunday, April 10. The public is invited to an artist reception on Sunday, March 6 from 2pm - 4pm. Rural Pop Art is a contrast to pop art generated by urban popular culture during the '60's. Using a combination of acrylic and mixed media, Smith’s work features bright colors and unusual presentations of commonly known objects and themes, which are familiar to the more rural world.

Here is the artist’s statement about Rural Pop Art and other Behavioral Oddities:

In the 1960's they gave us Pop Art. The everyday junk that inhabits the lives of consumers all over became appropriate subject material for "real" artists. Thus, toothpaste, soup cans, celebrities, gas stations, comic strips, pin up girls, ale cans commercial logos and all that mass production and mass communication bring us to hang around in art museums despite their common ordinary origins. The popular culture of the urbanized world mattered.

Those of us who live on the dirt roads seem to have been left out. While we all get to share in the broader range of popular culture, rural life has something of its own as well. Our cultural life is not geographically challenged. Everyday life out in the sticks brings familiarity with barns, silos, hobby farms, sweet corn everywhere, chickens, tractors, cows, gunfire in the fall, moose crossings, raising too many sheep, bears in your birdfeeder, waving at everyone, weed dating, leaving your doors unlocked, chainsaws, actually needing 4 wheel drive, and a cornucopia of things that a city slicker just would not really grasp.

So isn't Rural Pop Art a possibility? We have plenty of unique material with which to work. A rural Pop Feeling is out here. I've seen it. You just have to put a name to it.