"A Mountain of Skulls"
By Guy Richards Smit
“This modern-day vanitas will send shivers down your funny bone… Rife with gallows humor.” - Artspace
“A classic memento mori that here stands as a reminder of the ever-looming death of careers and aspirations in art.” - Blake Gopnik, Artnet News
Guy Richards Smit’s debut monograph presents his painting project A Mountain of Skulls (and Not One I Recognize), an ongoing, exhaustive, dizzying collection of watercolor and gouache paintings that he began in 2015. The publication features over 200 works of art along with essays by British historian and best-selling author Jerry Brotton, the American art critic and curator Christian Viveros-Fauné, and an interview with Ariela Gittlen, The book was designed by award-winning graphic designer Jenny Miles.
A Mountain of Skulls is an oddly affecting meditation on mortality, history and unbelievable human suffering. The book’s numerous skull paintings showcase Smit’s deeply observed cultural and philosophical commentary alongside trenchant political observations. A virtual village’s worth of dead souls are presented across the pages appearing as though dumped in a mass grave with their personalities, traits, desires and dramas intact and carrying with them the artist’s incisive wit and mordant humor. Overall, this lumbering death march of wise-cracking memento mori demands that their vibrant and colorful humanity be acknowledged.
Born and raised in New York City, Guy Richards Smit is a painter, video artist, performer, and musician whose work has been seen at biennials as well as at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC. He was included in the exhibition “Stand Up” at The Pompidou Center, Paris and past solo exhibitions include SPRING/BREAK Art Show, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center in Buffalo, NY and Charlie James Gallery in Los Angeles. He has also toured internationally as the lead singer and song writer of Maxi Geil! & PlayColt and completed a 5-episode “sitcom” called The Grossmalerman Show.
PUBLISHER: Trela Media
LIST PRICE: US $ 60.00 / CAN $ 80.00
FORMAT: Hardcover, 9.5 x 10.25 in. / 184 pgs / 220 color images
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