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Guy Richards Smit

In a career that has spanned over two decades, Guy Richards Smit has turned to the sitcom, the pop song, the memento mori and the NY Times for inspiration. He now turns his eye to the lowly lot of the classic gag cartoon.


Always fascinated by the genre, in early 2020 Smit began creating them as preliminary sketches for a series of paintings, but found it so engaging he found himself making as many as he could and earnestly submitting them each week to the New Yorker, which in turn, each week rejected them. (Earlier this year Hyperallergic started running his art-related cartoons as a weekly feature and the New Yorker has finally relented.)


A compelling reason to paint in a time of particular cultural and political tumult, the cartoons are also a vehicle for trumpeting the artist’s heartfelt belief in the importance of Comedy. Inspired by the indignant eyes of George Grosz and Reginald Marsh, they are a richly propped stage on which to reflect upon recent history, contemporary culture and everyday mundanity. 


Born and raised in New York City, Guy Richards Smit is known for his paintings, video installations, musicals and performances exploring the themes of narcissism, desire, power and failure. In the New York Times, art critic Roberta Smith wrote that his work was “A tour de force that showcases his considerable talents for satire, stand-up, endurance art and painting,”


His work has been showcased in the 2016, 2017 and 2021 editions of the SPRING/BREAK Art Show as well as biennials in Havana, Valencia, at ARCOMadrid and Dublin Contemporary. He’s also taken part in exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, The Queens Museum, The Bloomberg Center in London and the The Hirshhorn Museum In Washington, DC. He was recently included in the exhibition “Stand Up” at The Pompidou Center, Paris. He has released two albums and toured internationally with his band Maxi Geil! & PlayColt.


In 2016 he completed a 5 episode “sitcom” called The Grossmalerman Show with the legendary director Joshua White (Max Headroom, Seinfeld etc). Shot on a stage with three cameras in front of a live studio audience at Pierogi Gallery’s Boiler Space and has been screened publicly in NY, Chicago, LA and London.


More recently he completed a suite of 400 paintings on paper called A Mountain of Skulls and Not One I Recognize which is the subject of an artist's monograph being released this Fall with essays by Christian Viveros-Faune, Jerry Brotton and Ariela Gittlen.

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