Ever Gold Gallery is pleased to present the first west coast solo exhibition by New York-based artist Adam Parker Smith. “Crush” features printed canvases, photographs on panel, video, and kinetic installations that evoke a mischievous pop-art lineage. Conflating painting with sculpture, mass-produced objects and imagery with high-art conventions, Smith wittily de-mythologizes American masculinity as a commercial construct-one that speaks to the larger naïveté of human perspective.
As a conceptual starting point for “Crush,” digital video Burn Out features an elaborately tricked-out silver Lamborghini formerly owned by major league baseball player José Conseco-who, legend dictates, filled its tank with jet fuel. Deconstructing this hyper-masculine myth with absurd theatricality, Smith films the car “burning out” for an implausible seven minutes looped, its static back wheels disguised by clouds of exhaust emitted from a rented fog machine. Dead Clay portrays a slightly overweight man sunning in an ill-fitting Speedo. Evoking 17th and 18th century depictions of St. Sebastian, hand-made arrows pierce the canvas surface to literally skewer its pale, bloated figure. Pizza, meanwhile, features a large, limp sausage protruding penis-like from a photograph of a cheap, uneaten pizza pie, while Untitled (boat)’s image of a small, recreational sporting boat bobs in place, thanks to the canvas’s rear, rotary motors.
Elsewhere, desired objects are correlated with the female form. A Readymade object and its canvas counterpart comprise Crush. With hair woven into an all-American, girl-next-door image, an adjacent upright fan blows the work’s long tendrils over the canvas, obscuring the beauties face. For Pussy Fart, the neck of a French female aristocrat-from a painting found in the Met-dangles with a blinging eponymous “name necklace.” Such ironic puns, exhibiting a cheeky disregard for both good taste and medium-specificity, recall the flattened imagery of James Rosenquist or Tom Wesselman’s multi-dimensional still lives of domestic products. The perils of such consumerist ideologies form the loose premise for the work in the back gallery, as the charred frame of a functioning grandfather clock and a painting of a dead cat-pocked with lumpy paint-suggest a mortal dimension to this solos exhibition’s libidinal, masculine drive.
– David Everitt Howe, 2011
Adam Parker Smith received his BA from the University of California at Santa Cruz and his MFA from Tyler School of Art. He has attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Sculpture Space, Bemis, Djerassi, Jentel, and Atlantic Center for the Arts. His work has been shown widely in the USA as well as internationally at Urbis, Manchester, England, Nordine Zidoun, Luxembourg, Priska Juschka, New York, The Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, Berkshire Museum, Massachusetts, The Soap Factory Minneapolis, Painted Bride, Philadelphia, Parisian Laundry, Montreal, and the Maraya Art Centre in Sharjah, U.A.E. Smith lives and works in New York.