Preston M. Smith

Color Guard
Oil on Canvas
36 x 36 in.
Don't f#&k with my piece
Oil on Canvas
40 x 30 in.
Oil on Canvas
48 x 36 in.
Passing me by
Oil on Canvas
36 x 24 in.
How you like me now
18 x 24 cm.
Oil on reclaimed wood
15 x 29 in.

Preston  M.  Smith  (PMS)  found  himself  cross-eyed  and  with no depth  perception  as  a  child.  This  was  the  “lens”  through  which  he  developed  his  unique  visual  perspective  of  the  world,  which  he  now  shares  as  a  painter.  Before  focusing  completely  on  his  visual  artwork,  Preston  spent  many  years  developing  and  expanding  his  creative  mindset  by  acting  professionally,  touring  and  lead  singing  for  a punk/ska  band,  and  writing  two  novels  as  well  as  a  collection  of  poetry  and  original  paintings.  All  of  this  experience  fed  into  his  ability  to  access  his  creative  voice  and  communicate his  own  experience.  Over  the  years,  Preston’s  artwork  has  transitioned  from  moody  pop  surrealist  paintings  into  vibrantly  colorful,  tactile,  highly  textured  and  almost  “edible”  abstract  works.  His  mantra  for  his  abstract  work  is  “color,  texture,  and  beauty”,  and  his  work  and  life  have  been  an  expression  of  moving  from  darkness  into  light.  Preston’s work  has  been  showcased  alongside  David  Lynch  and  at  the  Inaugural  Purple  Ball  for  President  Obama’s Inauguration  in  2009,  where  he  was  commissioned  to  paint  12  portraits  of  the  President.  Very  recently,  his  work  was  selected  by  a  panel  of  curators  as  a  winner  in  the  1st  2018  ArtSlant  Artprize  Showcase.  His  work  has  also  been  on  display  at  the  world  famous  La  Luz  De  Jesus  Gallery,  and  in  numerous  exhibitions  throughout  Los  Angeles  and  across  the country.    Preston’s  was  also  recently  the  subject  of  a documentary  short  directed  by  Tony  Lugo  entitled “Negativity  To  Creativity”  and  his  work  is  in  private  collections  around  the  world  as  well  in  the  homes  of  celebrities  such  as  Ed  Harris,  Ashley  Judd,  Josh  Lucas,  and  so  forth.

Painting for me is a raw and cathartic expression of my inner self.  It is also an expression of the human condition. I see myself almost as a conduit for expressing raw and passionate emotions, without a filter. I think this is why people respond to my work, because they recognize these emotions from my art, in themselves. I have personally used art to heal and work through some rough periods in my life, and I like to say that my artwork is a process of transitioning from “darkness into light”. In my abstraction, the work flows from a vibrant cosmic fluidity to a sort of messy geometrical abstraction. I am obsessed with the both the assemblage and decay of beautiful forms, color and texture in my tactile oil paintings and I strive to let the medium itself have a strong voice. My textures are thick, chewy and many people say seemingly “edible, daring the viewer to want to touch and feel each piece. I like the idea that everything is transitory and that forms and even my own paintings will change with time. My figurative paintings are moody and surreal. Eyes are a focal point and these pieces convey an existential emotional content filtered through me. Day to day, I keep myself constantly inspired by surrounding myself with music, literature, movies, and by cultivating my own everyday experiences. I employ all of these elements to better access the present moment, where all true creativity flows from, and which allows ideas to adapt and evolve. This is what feeds my art and helps it to grow and change with every passing day and moment.