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Black Stockings :: Malcolm  Smith

Black Stockings

Acrylic on Board 20" x 48"

Malcolm Smith

Malcolm Smith is an artist whose works, in a style derived from 1960s romance comics, use bright, bold colors and techniques borrowed from the printing industry. To emphasize the strength in which expression is conveyed through facial expression and hand gestures, Smith designated punchy one liners from an array of memorable films to his work.

Born in Essex, England, Smith studied and practiced engineering and architecture in London and Cambridge, all the while longing to delve into his early passion for painting and the arts.

Throughout the late 70s and 80s, after moving to Montreal Smith designed a number of nightclubs, bars and restaurants, allowing him to express himself more creatively than through his day-to-day work at the offices of various engineering consultants. This led him to the decision to leave the company, and take on projects in interior design and decor. His career as a specialized painter exploded with this exposure and kept Smith busy in residences, restaurants and offices worldwide for 20 years.

In late 2012, while completing some decorating work for a longtime client, Smith was asked to paint a canvas himself, as the client was an avid collector of paintings and works of art. Having all of Smith's work, quite literally, on his walls, meant he would not be able to take it away upon future sale of the property. Smith complied, and immediately surged having tapped into that passion he discovered so many years ago.

The Ben-Day dots printing process, where equal sized dots are equally spaced or overlapped, was something that fascinated Smith. Using mostly primary colors (red, yellow and blue) allowed the composition of his pieces to stand out. This particularily lent well to his subject matter: portraits of women from 1960s romance comics. The simplicity of using two parts, the face and hands, to convey an expression or emotion, led to Smith incorporating classic and well known movie quotes, creating a new context. The simple black frames of the paintings remind us of those early comic book pages. Smith later began painting in a smaller format, using garter belts, stockings and shoes from that era as well as his subject. The juxtaposition of function and flesh, cold steel against soft skin and fabric, can be compared to Smith's background in engineering and passion for art.