Andrew Smenos
American, born 1981

Using stuffed animals as subjects and symbols, Andrew Smenos makes paintings and sculptures in which he presents them as stand-ins for childhood and foils for adulthood. A cast of these cuddly creatures, including an inchworm and a tiger, recurs throughout his work. In his oil-on-canvas paintings, they appear isolated against colored backgrounds, or floating in front of human figures like hallucinations. His sculptures are comprised of hand carved, pigmented wood, or of stuffed fabric. For Smenos, stuffed animals signify our passage from childhood to adulthood, from a carefree to an anxious state. His work references these opposing states, while suggesting, as he describes, that they may coexist: “The concepts were always about portraying the duality in perspective. We walk through life glass-half-empty or glass-half-full. I…see it as both at the same time.”

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