Brian Smith is a multidisciplinary artist whose work hybridizes sculptural elements and printed photographs. His content examines human’s relation to the environment and approaches the climate catastrophe through a lens that investigates utopian queer alternatives to the future the world is inheriting.

https://www.bri-n.co/
@bri_n (Instagram)

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Description

Smith holds a Master of Fine Arts from Maine College of Art, where he is a current faculty member. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Smith has exhibited in Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, Montana, and virtually in London. During his MFA, he was nominated for the Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award by the International Sculpture Center, producer of Sculpture Magazine. In addition, he has received the Albert K. Murray Grant, Stephen D. Paine, and Windgate Foundation scholarships. Smith has been written about in The Chart magazine, Floorr Magazine, Divide Magazine, and Living Artists Magazine. Smith will be partaking in a residency at Hewnoaks Artist Colony this summer.
Statement
By way of nature-inspired sculpture and photographic elements, Smith highlights and visualizes the urgency for seeing oneself within the category of “natural” in times of uncertainty. Using the language of queer theory and queer ecology, Smith situates his art within a tradition that seeks to identify approaches to connect with the non human world, in an effort to build empathy towards it and create a desire to protect the ecosphere in the age of the Anthropocene. Navigating the perils of ecoanxiety Smith illustrates a path to productive contemplation through responsible art-making. In conversation with other artists, theorists, writers, and ecologists in the context of environmental issues, Smith draws linkages between the oppression of queer people and the exploitation of the natural environment by the same power structure. The climate catastrophe is a theme visually present in these works, but subtly not at the forefront. Smith views the climate catastrophe as a catalyst for considering his own connection to nature, thus inspiring the queer ecological approach taken in his art-making and writing. He stands that there’s no way to make art about nature in the Anthropocene without considering climate change. Smith aims to create a future of hybridization, acclimatization, and a way of decentralizing humans from the stance of world power; all with a sprinkle of optimistic futility characteristic of generations inheriting the climate catastrophe.