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David Brian Smith


Smith offers us the personal as universal; the anecdotal as symbolic. You do not need to know that another of his recurring motifs – the man sat atop an enormous radiant anthill, explorer’s hat in hand – is the artist’s great-grandfather, a clergyman and amateur photographer in colonial India, to see a slight dig at the phallic rational of the imperial undertaking. In fact, maybe this reading results from the total ignorance of this biographical detail, which might otherwise also overpower the scene’s palpable sense of awe and wonder at the natural world and the absurdity of man’s self-elevated position with it.


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