May 12, 2015

Lionel Smit

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Written by: Crystal Lui
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Lionel Smit : Establishing a relationship between Painting and sculpture
Lionel Smit born in South Africa lives and works in Cape town. He first began his art in sculpture, with his father, sculptor Anton Smit being his main influence. When he discovered paint, it progressively converted into his preferred medium. Even so, He continued to make sculptures and his experience with sculpting is evident through the application of his harsh brushstrokes, It was almost like he was applying pieces of clay. He has also created sculptures to mimic his paintings. As if he is translating his flat paintings into 3D form. He sees pieces of clay as strokes of paint the same way he sees strokes of paint as pieces of clay. His sculptures act as another form of a painting surface.

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His color palette is bold and exotic, both contrasting and complimenting, which helps to create visual impact along with the monumental scale of his portraits. Mark making and the creation of texture is also crucial for the impact of his work. In “Divulge (2010)” a sculpted portrait, more personality was given by adding paint splatters across the visage. Strokes and drips are evident in his work as it shows the process of creation and development as well as adds dimension of attitude.

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The continuous exchange between his sculptures and paintings help to mirror a more subjective theme within his work. Lionel Smit explores the tension between human vulnerability and inner strength. This is can be seen through his work, like his female portraits. Poses in the women exert a sense of strength and courage. However, their expressions depict doubt and vulnerability. The contrast makes both elements be all the more prominent, making the image more influential. His theme can also be seen through the complexities of his techniques and processes. The slashes and splashes create energy and movement, also contributing to the expression of strength. This helps to convey a sense of dialogue between the pigments and the subject matter itself.

His work was featured in the Rook&Raven Gallery at the new Hong Kong art fair “Art Central”.

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About the Author

Crystal Lui
Crystal Lui is not only a guitarist, football player and a food junkie, but she is also an ardent aspiring photographer and artist who loves to experiment with new and different art mediums. She is born and raised in Hong Kong, currently attending South Island School.


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