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.