Smithe’s visceral illustrations disassemble and mechanize the human head, exploring both psychological ideas and how the body can be manipulated. Whether it’s on a screen or adorning a massive wall, his works warrant extended contemplation. The artist often offers process images on his Instagram account.
Mexican street artist and illustrator “Smithe” creates intensely detailed images that combine biological and mechanical motifs. Featured here on our blog, Smithe’s art is a visual collage of everything that he loves; a mix of comics, animation, film, street art, science fiction, but mostly spontaneity and fun. Like his murals, his illustrations portray strange figures and pop-culture characters in a state of deconstruction. They stretch, distort, and melt into the floor, other times falling into a thousand little particles of themselves. Smithe explores the source of such madness in his latest body of work, “Fisuras de la Materia” (“Fissures of Matter”), currently on view at Celaya Brothers Gallery in Mexico.
In a 200 year old building in Mexico City’s central historic district, illustrator, graphic designer and street artist Smithe brings to life scenes from another world. Downstairs from his studio, there is a cantina that still houses a bullet fired from Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa’s gun. The street outside is on the route of the city’s largest civic demonstrations, which regularly block traffic to the area. Some 20 million people live their lives in the near vicinity. When Hi-Fructose visited his studio and showroom for the Tony Delfino clothing line, for which Smithe serves as creative director, the 26-year-old artist said his work is meant as an antidote, albeit temporary, to this urban madness.
The Mexican street artist and illustrator known simply as Smithe has a definite style about his work. His art is intensely detailed and often surreal. Smithe frequently blends biological and mechanical imagery reminiscent of cyber-punk book cover illustration. His dramatic and action filled style is also reminiscent of rock posters, which also accounts for a large portion of his professional illustrating. Much like his wall murals, Smithe’s work on paper also displays a strong sense of space. Bodies bend and contort as if strange three dimensional puzzles. See more of Smithe’s artwork after the jump.
In Mario Maplé’s ballpoint pen drawings, the artist moves between conventional beauty and the grotesque. The works are deceptively complex in their elegance, the soft lines of the subject the result of tedious work in ink pen. The artist will also occasionally mix in watercolors to emphasize his distortions.
Coming in October: “Hi-Fructose Presents: The Art of The Mushroom,” an exploration into artists’ interpretations of the friendly, deadly, tasty, hallucinogenic, phallic, alien, and legendary mushroom. The show is curated by Hi-Fructose, premiering at Oakland’s The Compound Gallery on October 20. (Above art by Naoto Hattori.)