Plucked from the darkened reaches of a salacious psyche, the scratched pen and ink work of Robert Smith is utterly compelling. The product of a decreasingly addled mind, this libertine collection spirals through Escher-like distortions, surrealism and pop-art schlock, and is streaked with a dark humour that is peppered with rancor.
Inspired by Beckinsky, Dali, Zappa, Pink Floyd and The Velvet Underground, Smith considers himself an anarchist and rudeboy, “’cos I’m pretty rude”. His work is just that, rude, evolved, confronting and anarchic.
Tickling the more disturbed corners of the mind, Smith delivers thoughts and emotions in a graphic pictorial spray. He says it is the regurgitation of loneliness and rejection, a “bleakness” borne of the looming menace, “You know, nuclear warheads and women chaining themselves to fences, that stuff…”
The experiences of a childhood spent in a small village next to an American army base in the UK is irreparably tangled with a later life lived on the edge. Smith stabs a story of personal corruption onto canvas in a salvo of styles, light illuminating the darkest shadows, his mind mapped and on display.