The Drawers - Gord Smith   Commentary written by Julie Oakes

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Results of the headhunt

Gord Smith scribbled and muddied these heads like the creator in an 'off' or even flippant mood. This slip in omnipotence encompassed the breadth and width of being human. Like a mouthful, masticated and regurgitated, the senses discombobulate. Despite the thorough painterly pummeling, the images don't give cause for worry. They are, instead, amusing, like a pie in the face. This is not a statement reflecting victimization but empowerment. The drawings strike with the totalitarianism of a grand freedom gesture. Gord Smith, in a mental release of frustration messed up these faces and with the inherent right of a young man to let go of strictures, was liberated. The drawings cross over the lines of social restraint. The act is indulgent. The artist, being true to himself, gives back a statement of integrity.

Gord Smith is best known for his sculpture. Based on theoretical constructs that he has perfected throughout his formidable career and with a head of modernistic steam, he has forged a three dimensional legacy. The strength of the sculptural work is founded on a life long practice of two dimensional work such as these heads, works on paper from the fifties. They bare the true grit of the times, when the push and pull of the plastic surface was being explored with uncommon ferocity. Dark, intense depictions, they reveal a gamut of emotions, from ludicrous to enigmatic.

These are the drawings of an artist who has since passed beyond the moments that inspired their creation to arrive at a more logical, less emotional expression. They are like fertilizer, messy and scatological; they contributed to healthy growth. They are infantile - honest, uncontrived, immediate and impossible to duplicate at a later stage in life. They cleared out the stuck matter of an emotional moment and plopped it upon paper, freeing the psyche and passing the dross on to be viewed, a testament to humanness. They are an aesthetic turn-around for they read as powerful, strong, commanding, mature and wise beyond their years. They reflect uninhibited visual understanding and unabashed frankness.

Copyright 2006,  Headbones Gallery, The Drawers