Paul Anthony Smith: Containment is on view at Luis De Jesus in Los Angeles through Saturday, October 13. The solo exhibition is the Jamaican-American, Brooklyn-based artist’s first with the gallery.
Paul Anthony Smith’s show Containment was expressly concerned with what cannot be contained, what exceeds the bounds of a single photograph to render, or an individual consciousness to reconcile. The discontinuous self, memory as an act of creative nonfiction, history as endlessly splintered and unreliably narrated – over the past few decades, these have all gelled into foundational truths and served to underpin myriad image-making strategies favoring montage, disruption, and contradiction.
Though Luis De Jesus and Tarrah Von Lintel technically share an address in the Culver City gallery district, their operations are independent of each other. However, this month these neighboring exhibitions are very much in conversation. Unintended as this confluence is, in each of the three artists having solo shows at 2685 S. La Cienega we see a version of the same dynamic—a totally unexpected, materially subversive and exceptionally analog, labor-intensive take on what would otherwise be traditional mediums of photography and drawing.
From a distance, Paul Anthony Smith’s “picotage” pieces, 2012–, resemble movie stills interrupted by television static. Up close, they look like pictures dotted with tiny dabs of white paint. Smith creates these small, textured imperfections by carefully picking apart his mounted photographs with a ceramic needle, exposing their white undersides.