Richard Smith


This piece, by artist and photographer Richard Smith, is titled “Recovery”. Smith explores “unexpected interrelationships between everyday images through surrealist photomontage”. Smith photographs images from his own daily life and later incorporates them in to his pieces. He believes that beauty is everywhere, and using his very distinct black and white style, he transforms everyday objects and surroundings into very powerful and striking images. Smith unites usually un-relatable snapshots of things he likes into his various compositions, bringing them together through the use of distinguished photographic techniques.

Three different photographs are merged together in this digital collage. Firstly, what we see in the foreground is a glass clasped in Smith’s own hand. The glass itself is relatively bland and inexpensive but the element of light plays a big part in transforming it in to an attractive object. Using the contrast of black and white the sharpness of the light is accentuated, as the glass is transparent the light creates various shapes within it, overall turning it in to an aesthetically pleasing object.

The background within the piece is of the ocean at sunset, the photograph taken in San Diego. What would usually be a beautiful photograph placed on it’s own, is edited in to Richard Smith’s unique style and placed behind the other elements in the piece. Again the element of light is important, the reflection of the sunlight on the sea creating nice texture as well as depth. This photograph creates an expansive glow stemming from the back of the design.

The focal point of the design sits centrally in the composition. The original photograph is of a puddle within a car park and one which is a very uninspiring image. Smith however has isolated the puddle and placed it in to his design. Stemming from the sun which is setting the puddle appears to sit upon the surface of the sea and stretch downwards. The lines are very sharp and ever so slightly jagged, almost resembling lightening. What I like about this element of the design is that the audience will struggle to know what it is, leaving a level of ambiguity and also curiosity. The water stretches downwards and in to the top of the glass creating this idea of water being poured in to the glass. Much like the rest of Smith’s work the design is incredibly attractive and slightly abstract, his “surrealist photomontage” both a unique and impressive art form.