At the core of the work of Irish artist Derick Smith lies an investigation into ideas of meaning-making within contemporary global society. Although presented as paintings, much of his work is sculptural in nature as it explores the boundaries of dry and wet materials – the static and the dynamic- as well as the common associations inherent in these traditional media themselves. The tone of his work is playful, rather than austere, as he aims to engage the viewer through elements of intrigue or surprise.
You find yourself in a city unknown. All the street signs, shopfronts and billboards display a language which you do not speak, nor recognise, and yet they call your attention, to participate, to engage. These signs and symbols are delivered through ever more sophisticated means as no part of the visual field is off limits. In a seemingly passive manner you learn this language, over time, through constant exposure and soon you forget those other meanings, or even the time when you were illiterate.
Smith’s work has been shown at solo exhibitions in New York, Munich and Dublin, group exhibitions in the U.K, U.S.A, Russia and is part of the Irish state art collection. He has furthermore participated in several artist residencies in Dublin, Munich and France.