Home > Artist of the Week, Digital Design, Uncategorized > Artist of the Week: Shawn Smith

Artist of the Week: Shawn Smith

Artist Shawn Smith makes pixel-based artwork, with the twist of the works being wall mounted or free standing three dimensional art.  Some works incorporate other elements as assemblage.  He was recently featured in WIRED magazine:

Shawn Smith in front of:

Tevatron (2012)
Plywood, ink, and acrylic paint
109 x 58 x 11 inches

As a kid, Shawn Smith spent hours playing the Atari game Pitfall, in which players tromp though a forested gauntlet of rolling logs, quicksand, rattlesnakes, and fire. “I’d never been camping, so I thought that’s what it was: wrestling crocodiles living in pixelated lakes, jumping over scorpions,” Smith says. “The whole idea was to avoid nature and win some gold coins.”

That 8-bit-centric worldview still holds true for the Austin artist, who is working on a series called Re-things: three-dimensional pixelated sculptures of animals and other outdoorsy objects, which he builds from wooden cubes and square dowels.

“The ’80s were a transition time—videogames were just coming into the home,” Smith says. “They became an escape for me.” To construct his pieces, Smith zooms in on a photograph and then creates a drawing of it on graph paper. He uses that as a map to build digital-looking mountain goats, campfires, even a marlin called Tevatron (above). The big-game fish was put through what the sculptor calls “my own particle accelerator” to create a disintegrating effect; it’s an exercise in removing data without compromising our ability to recognize an image.

Smith will be part of the Smithsonian’s upcoming show 40 Under 40: Craft Futures, which opens in July. For the exhibition, he’s creating a new campfire piece. Maybe one of these days he’ll finally get around to going camping.    [source]

Disintegrating Eagle (2011)
Balsa wood, bass wood, ink, acrylic paint
71 x 41 x 12 inches

Schrödinger’s Hat (2009) 
Bass wood, ink, gauche, acrylic paint, felt fedora 
10 inch diameter x 22 inches 

See more work by Shawn Smith at his website here.

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