Staten Island native Herb Smith returns to Santa Fe this February to showcase his latest works. The collection focuses on Smith’s study of birds, painted with extraordinary detail and depth. More than a traditional still life, Smith’s birds exude realistic personality and character. His composition features the birds as the main element, which as Smith explains, “This gives me the opportunity to show the bird more as a portrait than just another animal in landscape painting.”
For this show Smith has exclusively painted bird species that can be seen in Santa Fe, making for a sense of familiarity for the viewer. “I hope this creates a dialogue and a certain level of comfort,” Smith notes, allowing the viewer to see everyday birds in a different light.
The show includes works on a greater scale, enveloping the viewer in the spirit of the portraits. “For most of the work the size of the paintings has been enlarged, which I hope lets the viewer get in closer and see more details of each species.”
Having extensively studied the painters and techniques of the Dutch Golden Age, the impact of the era is ever- present in his work. His blending of color and fantastic attention to detail are captivating. Meanwhile, Smith has simultaneously become a major player in the New York street art scene throughout the last decade, painting murals throughout the city, recently in the iconic Wellington Court in Queens. This combination of traditional and contemporary influences has fused into a singular style.
All are welcome to attend Inhabitants, opening at the Beals & Co. Showroom at 830 Canyon Road in Santa Fe from 5-7pm on February 17.