Search our collections

Hi, I'm Paul Smith

Pauls Smith West End London Exhibition Paul SmithThis is me now, that was me in 1995. Proud sell-out exhibitor at a top Mayfair gallery in London. It was quite an experience and one that I hoped would lead to a dazzling career. It certainly meant that I’d got further than most other graduates of Sydney College of the Arts in Australia (now UNSW).

Of course that’s about as far as my career got, and decades in commercial graphics followed. It started in front of a Mac in a print shop and then moved on to the international cosmetics industry where you may still see some of my designs on the ground floors of department stores and in airport departure lounges throughout the world. I am proud of quite a lot of it and I wish I could show some of it to you without getting into trouble.

There was a living to be made in commercial graphics, and some satisfaction, but I never lost my fervour for creative art and now I’m thrilled that I’ve now spent enough time at this particular coal face to be able to afford to pursue my first love.

The first thing you’ll notice may be the corrugated stuff. Why? Well, Monet kept painting Rouen cathedral, Cézanne couldn’t stop returning to his mountain, and I just can’t get enough rust and corrugated iron - except of course it’s plastic, fabric and paint. There is no risk to your furnishings!

Not everyone notices that distressed metal and rust can be very beautiful, and when it is represented as a covering, barrier, or fence, it becomes exciting and mysterious. And that is a bit of a theme with my paintings - what is going on beneath, above, below and through my architectural arches, city skylines - and fences.

Then there are the enhanced paintings. Quite a lot of the works are conventional oil paintings but, just as I like representations of rotting metal, which is added to a lot of the works, there is also quite a lot of painted fabric. So when some drapery looks so convincing that it is flying out of the painting or seems as if it is real, then maybe it is. Please look closely.

Finally there’s the architecture, but I think these pictures speak for themselves. I’ve written enough. I’m an artist not a writer.

By the way, I love to discuss commissions. I hope I’ve given a feeling for what I do, and if that’s given you an idea, or you have a particular site in your home or need a particular colour, I’d love to hear from you.