Our Highlights from Art Los Angeles Contemporary
Cliff & Mandy Einstein
For her “Twentieth Century” series, Alexis Smith scavenged and traded for B-movie posters, onto which she screenprinted appropriated texts and other cinematic imagery. “I collect everywhere I go, and I like to work with everyday life forms as opposed to high-art forms,” Smith says.
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Image rights: Courtesy Honor Fraser Gallery, Photo Joshua White/JWPictures.com
Alexis Smith pioneered an approach to assemblage that combined objects scavenged at swap meets and thrift stores with movie posters, maps, other ephemera, and quotes from writers such as Raymond Chandler, Walt Whitman, and Jack Kerouac. Born and raised in Southern California, Smith considers herself a product of the entertainment industry, and at the age of 17 she changed her name from Patti-Anne to Alexis, to emulate the fading movie star of the same name. In her collages and installations, Smith creates alternative narratives around popular culture, and riffs off the nostalgia associated with the Hollywood of a bygone era and the mythological America. “I collect everywhere I go, and I like to work with everyday life forms as opposed to high-art forms,” Smith says. “Also, there is often an emotional poignancy to my work. It's uncynical. It's very of-the-world.”
American, b. 1949, Los Angeles, California, based in Los Angeles, California