Kenny’s Carpetbaggers Lament No 2
17" x 23"
$1800 for both if purchased with "Kenny’s Carpetbaggers Lament No 1"
ARTWORK STATEMENT - ANTHONY SMITH
“Kenny’s Carpetbaggers Lament”is a pair of paintings meant to honor a childhood friend. When I cocievedof the works I imagined what this friend might think of this social and political moment. I grew up in a small very conservative town and when this friend moved into the area from somewhere up north I always marveled at his comments of how reactionary andtraditional our community was compared to where he came from. Knowing nothing of the outside world talk of any place not deeply seeded with racism and poverty seemed alien to me. Always a puckish jokester,I imagined how funny he’d find a rewritten score of“AreYou From Dixie” decorated with blackdiva-ballerinas and bodybuilder drag queens.Knowing Kenneth, he’d fall out his chair laughing.
I make artwork that’s filed with rich dense spaces. These spaces coalesce into vibrant worlds where I often play out moral, political or philosophical fantasies using calligraphic gestures that feel vaguelycalligraphic. I often layerand then erase work I’ve spent hours producingsimply to capture the ghost of what came before. I tell stories. I tell stories within stories. I tell stories that are not always meant to be perceived by the viewer.These are my secret work. I always leave a morsel that viewerscan grab hold of be it a friendly gesture, appealing color, or familiarimagethat,like breadcrumbs,I hopeleadsthe viewer on a journey of discovery. I make overwhelming work because the world for me is overwhelming. Then from time to time,and as a respite from the noise,I paint over it all with a happy landscapewhichthinly masksthe cacophony just beneath the surface.