The tidal sweep of our emotional life
June 21, 2013 9:59 PM   Subscribe

Samantha Keely Smith is a New York-based painter whose sweeping abstract landscapes were deemed "too distracting" for HBO's boardroom.

She uses many thin layers of paint in her work, which is full of light and tension.

It is interesting to see her paintings evolve over time. Her tumblr, Pinterest, and Facebook all offer windows into her current inspirations and works in progress.
posted by k8lin (27 comments total) 79 users marked this as a favorite
 
These are awesome, thanks for the post!
posted by Bwithh at 10:27 PM on June 21, 2013


Wow. Astonishingly beautiful.
posted by cross_impact at 10:39 PM on June 21, 2013


I love her work. I just wish she offered prints!
posted by matrixclown at 10:41 PM on June 21, 2013


No to cheapen her work but I would pay a reasonable fee to have desktop/iPhone versions of those....
posted by Doleful Creature at 11:37 PM on June 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Her works demand attention. Easy to understand why they were too distraction for a boardroom
posted by Cranberry at 12:24 AM on June 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


No to cheapen her work but I would pay a reasonable fee to have desktop/iPhone versions of those....

There are relatively high resolution versions on this part of her website.

These are pretty fantastic. Kind of like a slightly less schizo take on Gerhard Richter (or, at least, his abstract work).
posted by disillusioned at 12:37 AM on June 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


teal and orange
posted by telstar at 12:55 AM on June 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


Rodger Dean called and he wants his techniques back.
posted by doctor_negative at 1:20 AM on June 22, 2013


The very first time I walked into an art studio and smelled the turpentine, and the oil paints, I felt such a huge sense of déjà vu that I got chills. I never even considered working in any other medium after that. This is what I am meant to be doing.

This makes me wonder if she thinks she's reincarnated from some famous painter or something.
posted by Malice at 1:22 AM on June 22, 2013


The color and drama remind me of the essence of a Turner seascape, or the memory of a storm.


I dig.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:27 AM on June 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


teal and orange

I agree. Landscape artists should stop doing sunrise and sunsets. And anything during the fall. And spring. No desert scenery either. Or prairies.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 1:39 AM on June 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


Really good stuff.

Once I realized how big they are, I really want see her work in person, in a gallery.
posted by Anoplura at 1:42 AM on June 22, 2013


These look pretty corporate art-ish to me (as far as one can tell from images of work on the web) and can only assume HBO execs are easily distracted.

A friend of mine used to buy art on behalf of a major bank, for display in their offices around the world, and this sort of 'technically adept, thoroughly inoffensive, semi-abstract landscape' stuff was her stock in trade for public areas (the interesting stuff was reserved for private offices of bankers and for loan to big travelling exhibitions and museums for PR and tax avoidance purposes).

The color and drama remind me of the essence of a Turner seascape

I suspect reminded is the key word there. Admittedly, for all I know Smith's stuff in the flesh really does punch you in the gut and brains like a Turner - having yawned my way past thousands of these stormtastic canvases while suits bought them by the yard, I'm maybe just horribly jaded about the whole style/genre.
posted by jack_mo at 1:59 AM on June 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


What Jack_mo said. These paintings leave me completely cold.
posted by Callicvol at 2:10 AM on June 22, 2013


I also think that these feel very corporate.

The thing is, oil is such a beautifully rich medium that almost any mark made on a surface with it will be gorgeous. It's almost a trap, this medium is, and it's very easy to get carried away by the richness of pigments suspended in oil. And, she's using deep reds, thalo blues, and golds that read very warm so the work will just glow no matter what is done with the paint.

I also get a very Hudson River School vibe from these paintings, specifically Frederic Edwin Church, but there is no subtlety here to leaven the portentous colour like there was in Church's work.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 3:58 AM on June 22, 2013


I think that these are pretty good, maybe even too good, for corporate art, but not immediately calling out to me as museum-quality. It may be the easy color choices per Phlegmco(tm), but she has a good eye for balance and detail. I'd have to see one in person to know for sure, of course.
posted by dhartung at 4:14 AM on June 22, 2013


It's hard to tell on the web but these seem a bit bland to me. I own seven paintings by artist Dana Boettger, though, and know that the web versions pale compared to home versions. It may sound silly and stating the obvious but it's the degree to which the web dimishes the effect that I (and people who've seen mine in person) are always astonished.
posted by dobbs at 5:00 AM on June 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


No to cheapen her work but I would pay a reasonable fee to have desktop/iPhone versions of those....

When you're viewing a painting in that zoom/scroll mode, take a look at the page source code. Search for DIV ID="z", and you'll see a link to jpeg, with the name of the painting followed by "_z.jpg" That's a direct link to the 1900x1168 image used in the zoom. That should work for a desktop.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:48 AM on June 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is nice work. Her name makes me wonder if she is any relation to the Keely Smith, the fantastic singing partner of Louis Prima. Or maybe she was named for her?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:38 AM on June 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


beautiful work - reminds me of Goya.

thanks for this!
posted by jammy at 6:43 AM on June 22, 2013


I'm loving her paintings. But the portrait photograph of her on her Tumbler makes me wonder why she's making such a weird face.
posted by Too-Ticky at 7:25 AM on June 22, 2013


This:Art, Pablum:Food
posted by humboldt32 at 10:11 AM on June 22, 2013


At a gallery, paired with some classy New Age muzak. The gallery next to the crystal shop located at a strip mall. In a tony seaside resort town. After taking in the art, we could pop in next door to buy you one of those big floppy sun hats, then go across the street for some sushi and a strawberry shake.
posted by VikingSword at 11:56 AM on June 22, 2013


Ah, art. Nothing like it for making us feel good about ourselves. Especially when we don't like it.
posted by cromagnon at 3:24 PM on June 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


Needs more cabin
posted by thelonius at 5:56 PM on June 22, 2013


Ah, art. Nothing like it for making us feel good about ourselves. Especially when we don't like it.

Ah, sanctimoniousness. Nothing like it for making us feel good about ourselves. Especially when we have nothing interesting to offer.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 9:47 PM on June 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


doctor_negative: Rodger Dean called and he wants his techniques back.
Because Real Artists(tm) never build on the work of the past. That's why no one paints bison with red ochre anymore; been done.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:16 PM on June 24, 2013


« Older Free at last   |   Forgotten 1960s 'Thunderbirds' projects brought to... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments