Carmen Smith’s paintings explore the emotional and intellectual attachments we make to place. Central to her practice is engagement with the urban landscape and observation of the architecture, colors, light, nature, history and community in her own neighborhood and home area of South Florida. Upon a foundation of minimal urban street scenes, her limited use of figures carries a psychological load. Combined with use of bright, almost neon color combinations and dramatic shadow-play, simple settings and everyday situations gain new significance inspiring a novel perspective on imagery and occurrences often observed passively. Carmen’s imagery comes from her own drawings, reference photographs, historical architectural research, news stories, found photographs, stories and memories. Places influence our experiences, inform our memories, and can even become part of our identity. One gets the sense that there is a metaphysical presence in Carmen’s simple, vibrant compositions.
Carmen Smith is an emerging artist based in Miami-Ft. Lauderdale. Originally from St. Augustine, FL, Carmen studied Fine Art and Design at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Richmond, VA. Before earning a BFA from VCU School of the Arts in 2005, Smith obtained a BA in Russian Studies and Biology from Randolph College (1999) and studied Russian Language and Culture at St. Petersburg State University in 1998. She moved to Miami in 2008 and now lives in Hollywood, FL.