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An Artist’s Dwelling (6)

Roxa Smith was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela (yummy Arepas). She came to the US in her teens and attended Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, earning a degree in Art History and German in 1984 with a minor in Visual Arts. In 1987, she received a Graduate Certificate in the Fine Arts from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She now lives in and works in New York City and is represented by George Billis Gallery NY and George Billis Gallery LA.. Roxa has exhibited nationally and internationally.  Her painting focus on mostly empty interiors, wherein the remnants of a family or place remain regardless of human portraits. She is currently an English as a Second Language (ESL) Instructor at Baruch College- Continuing and Professional Studies (CAPS). Her interests include cooking, biking, traveling, education, and India. To buy some of her works and prints directly online, go HERE.

Roxa Smith, Green Couch, 36”x45” oil on canvas, 2009

Roxa Smith, Continuity, 2011, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches

Smith explains her series, Interiors, “The spaces we inhabit or visit each take on an individual character and sensibility in our minds, a memory of the time we passed there, of the company we shared. These voyeuristic paintings depict actual places, recalling their essence without seeking to faithfully recreate them. The intimate scale in this ongoing series of gouache on wood portraits, often only 5 by 7 inches, invites the viewer to enter the room, to experience the narrative quality within the quiet space, devoid of people, yet evocative and teeming with life.” Her use of light, color, shadow, and angle is extremely unique. Her images are intimate and a little lonely. Don’t you just want to dive in to the realistic depth of the painting and take up residence on her canvases?

Roxa Smith, Pillow Heaven, 30″x40″ oil on canvas, 2010

Roxa Smith, The Piano Room, 2010, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches

Roxa Smith, La Cocina Azul, 2009, oil on canvas 45 x 36 inches

“In these interiors and exteriors, I strive to capture and then distill fleeting moments in time and seek to illuminate the “spirit” of a space. The images are often devoid of people yet evocative and teeming with life, intended not to purely document a place but rather to portray its essence. I concentrate on the architectural details, source of light, and complex patterns within a composition. The isolation and juxtaposition of these elements creates a picture that is anything but a straightforward view…”, continues Smith in her motivation for another series, Interiors and Landscapes. I love the fact that her images often feature a room within a room. The art on a wall captures and directly reflects a captured moment in space, a moment that is ephemeral. This concept of magic realism reminds me of  another native South American – Argentinian, Jorge Luis Borges, who writes, “You have wakened not out of sleep, but into a prior dream, and that dream lies within another, and so on, to infinity, which is the number of grains of sand.” What is life but an image within an image, a dream within a dream? Borges believed that reality is not always based on probability, and so Smith’s paintings remind me of the weird and fanciful aspects of interiors. Sorry for the esoteric mind bend but, it just goes to show you how deeply Smith’s paintings make me think and feel.

The above paintings are equal parts traditional, eclectic, and culturally inspired. Rooms that remind me of Roxa Smith’s oeuvre, and her use of pattern, juxtaposition, and unexpected color:

Room designed by Vintage Renewal from Idledale, Co., image found HERE.

Back Bay Apartment, Boston by Nirmada Interior Design, image found HERE.
This eclectic, print-filled room from Better Homes & Gardens, HERE. 
Neon pink fridge, Latin American flair, Mosaics, and that yellow wall!  Image via Big Chill, HERE.
The two-room 40 Winks hotel in Stepney Green, London, UK. Images found HERE.
This patterned filled workspace courtesy of Absolutely Beautiful Things, HERE.
Image found via Anthropologie, HERE.
Image of Hotel Thoumieux in Paris, France found HERE.
HOW CAN I LIVE IN A FANTASTICAL AND BRIGHT ROXA SMITH PAINTING?
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I understand that not everyone can live in such a BRIGHT and multifarious room so, like in Smith’s paintings, it is enough to just contemplate the type of people that fill a space. My mind has been attacked and invaded by color and pattern lately; I promise I will calm down the rooms in the next few posts!
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Lucite in the Sky with Diamonds

This just in – Lucite is not longer for stripper heels or for your lewd cousin Sally. Although I always associated the material with wanton fantasies and ladies of the night, its style resurgence has begun!

The material can be used to preserve items in a resin like substance – it also has a bevy of other uses including in CDs, tattoo ink, ceramics, rocket fuel, fiber optics, dental fillings, aquarium windows, hockey rinks, jewelry, cosmetic surgery, and basically everywhere one looks. Perspex, a type of lucite, has been used as a surface to paint on (rather than traditional canvas) by Salvador Dali.

Is it a table? A book? A Painting? Salvador Dali, Freud, Moise et le monothéisme, 1974  The texts chosen above were actually based in alchemy. 

Hailed as a chemical wonder and used in World War II bombers. Lucite was able to be explored in more domestic settings after the war. Here is an illustration from Modern Materials for Modern Living: Bakelite Plastics, 1957. I am assuming the windows are plexiglass. Image found HERE.

Simply put, lucite is a shatter resistant, acrylic alternative to glass. The material was developed in 1928 in various laboratories, and was first brought to market in 1933 by Rohm and Haas Company, under the trademark Plexiglas. It has since been sold under many different names including Lucite and Perspex. I was going to attempt to give you the full and official name but all the “poly”, “methyl”, “acrylate”, “methylpropenoate”, and other chemically words had be a bit tongue tied.

 

A simple and clean solution to a watch display. Image found via The Glitter Guide, HERE.

Lucite backed bar stools and  the notable Oly Studio lighting. 

The translucent material camouflages itself to match any decorating scheme. Image via DecorPad. 

I spy Domino Magazine! That coffee table allows the magazines to look as though they are in a shadowbox on display. The lucite screen divider separates a room without shrinking its size. Image screen cap found via Lonny Magazine.

Image found HERE.

Contemporary gray foyer entry design with lucite acrylic console table, tall slat back chair, owl umbrella stand, white & black abstract art, white branch candle holders, gray walls paint color, crown moulding and crystal chandelier by Lori Graham. Image found HERE. 

A pop of color is calmed down by the clarity of lucite! Image by Tara Seawright, found HERE.

Cinderella would have made an entrance down this staircase whether or not she was wearing her glass (or lucite) slipper. The bannister is designed by Thomas Britt. Hanging on the stairs is Walking Cake II by Laurie Simmons. Photos by Andi Hatch and Francois Halard. Image found HERE. 

I would not mind reading, writing, or working at this wonder of a desk. Image via Atlanta Homes Magazine.

HOW DO I LIVE IN A CHEMICALLY MADE CLEAR RESIN LIFE?

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