Craig Smith (b. Johannesburg, 1961) is a self-taught artist, photographer and designer. He currently lives and works in Johannesburg.
Smith began a career in photography in 1981, assisting the top commercial and fashion photographers in Johannesburg at the time. In 1987 he started working as a scenic artist in film and private commissions beginning a relationship with paint that would set him through the years, exhibiting numerous times in Johannesburg. Even though his passion for painting remained consistent, Smith’s work evolved from scenic art to production design which prompted him to move to Cape Town in 1998 and start his own set building business called ‘Company Upset’.
“Battle lines; a line draw in the sand, the setting out of boundaries and the brush marks made on the surface of the canvas. The studio is the battlefield, where the push and pull of the human condition is encountered and reflected on. The death of the Actually: How much of our experience and emotions are being conditioned by the altered ego on the daily basis? Feeding on the rise of narcissistic thought and opinion, the fuel of Fakebook and Instaglam and Twatter. Giving rise to populist narcissistic leaders in South African, America, Turkey, Russia, the list goes on. Maybe we should turn to the self and the eternal battle with the superego, its own becoming. Wrestle empathy away from doubt and anxiety of modern living. Who will leave the ring?” – C. Smith
Kalashnikovv Gallery (JHB), Solo Show: ‘Battle Lines’ (2017)
Salon91 (CT), Solo Show: ‘Act Naturally II’ (2015)
Room Gallery (JHB), Solo Show: ‘Act/Naturally’ (2013)
Smith has participated in numerous group shows: ‘Memento Mori’, Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg (2018); ‘A Contemporary Showcase’, Graham’s Fine Art Gallery (2018); ‘Super Salon II’, Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg (2017); ‘Super Salon’, Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg (2016); ‘Scramble for Africa’, Kalashnikovv Galeri, Berlin (2016); ‘From Whence They Came’, Smith Studio Gallery, Cape Town and Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg (2016);‘The Black Cube Sessions’, The Old Post Office, Braamfontein (2015); ‘Cross-Sections’, Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg (2015); ‘Young Collectors’, Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg (2015); ‘REST.IN.PASTEL: A Painters Show’, Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg (2015); ‘Death of the Old’, Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg (2014); ‘A Year in Retrospective’, Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg (2013);‘The Painters Show’, Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg (2013, 2014, 2015); ‘Et al.’ Nirox Projects, Johannesburg (2013); Joburg Fringe art event (2011, 2012); Group Show, Gordart Gallery (2008, 2009, 2010); Group Show, Artspace Gallery (2008, 2009, 2010); Barbican Johannesburg/New Sites Painting (1989); ‘Paper Chase/Painting’ installation, F.I.G Gallery, Johannesburg (1989); and ‘Pawn/Porn’, F.I.G Gallery, Johannesburg (1988).
Art fairs include Cape Town Art Fair (2016, 2017), FNB Joburg Art Fair (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018), and Turbine Art Fair (2015, 2016, 2017).