Samantha Keely Smith, American painter, working and living in New York. Her art represents a striving to reconcile the inner world of instinct and the tidal sweep of our emotional life, with an external world that is both beautiful and hostile in its natural grandeur.
Samantha Keely Smith's paintings are landscapes that play at the edge of abstraction, blurring between light-filled fields and non-objective compositions. Light suffuses the works through soft clouds of brushstrokes, while canvases like "Salvage" create contrast with ropey, surreal structures inhabiting the transcendental space.
Smith's artwork represents a striving to reconcile the inner world of instinct and the tidal sweep of our emotional life, with an external world that is both beautiful and hostile in its natural grandeur. She attempts to map the place where these worlds intersect. The interior elements of blood and bone long to take on the shifting forms of immense exterior spaces.
The translucent layers of paint, contrasting soft ethereal brushwork and harder edged sweeping gestures, echo this divergence and depict a timeless place that hovers between dream and reality in a way that is simultaneously alluring and menacing. The work exhibits the struggle between and among the variety of human impulses: impulses that are as necessary as they are contradictory, and which therefore constantly undermine our psychic and social coherence even as they endow us with vitality, soul, and life.