Claude Smith: I've always had an insatiable curiosity about what makes us humans tick, and particularly how that manifests in the ways we use language to communicate. If there is a single thread that runs through my work in the last six decades, it would be a blend of drawing and writing, or perhaps, writing as drawing. This fascination with language and its less obvious underpinnings is evident in my work as it progressed from uninhibited scrawl to schoolbook penmanship, to calligraphy, to figurative gesture-drawing morphing into free-form gestural drawing and painting, to free-handed zen brushwork, to street graffiti carved into the flesh of trees, and back to uninhibited chalkboard-trace-tone-scribble and scrawl. Like the voice, or a series of notes played, there is something in the gesture and hand written line that reveals the inner nature of a person.
Born, raised and educated in N.Y.C., I earned a B.F.A. from Pratt Institute in 1971 and have exhibited nationally and internationally for more than five decades. I currently maintain a studio in the rural village of Graton, California. Work appears in NationalPoetryMonth.ca. www.claude-smith.com