Leslie Plato Smith
Broad strokes, bold shapes, rich texture, create the form, reflect the emotion of our times while exposing the figure’s true character. Gesture, posturing, and larger-than-life scale help provide insight on inner emotions and outer truths, bringing both power and vulnerability to the work. As viewers bring their experiences and emotions to their reactions to my painting, I seek to illicit an intuitive response from the viewer before they turn to a refined, analytical assessment.
Interested in the human condition, emotion is the intersection between our wild, animal side and the analytical, self-assessing, moral being humans defined by the values and mores of our society. In order to delve into the very nature of man’s code of conduct, personal conflict, and ethical dilemma, I use portraiture to explore relationships, to bring the political into the art world, and the obligation of being human into the conversation.
I studied anthropology to explore the universals across human societies, including imagery, icons, and symbols. Every culture creates their own totems to represent their values—aesthetic, spiritual, wealth, familial. My art tries to, bring contemporary aesthetics to the issues of the day, while recognizing long valued cultural norms that we all can recognize and reflect on.
Never drawing on the canvas, the excitement builds as I stick a large palette knife into a pound of oil paint and slap it onto the canvas—a new beginning; a new challenge; a new opportunity to portray my version of the truth.Broad strokes, bold shapes, rich texture, create the form, but more importantly expose the figure’s character. Gesture, posturing, and larger-than-life scale help provide insight on inner emotions and outer truths with the goal of bringing both power and vulnerability to the work.