Lives and works in Sydney
Ben Smith is a rare artist in his ability to combine strong classical technique with painterly abstraction and oblique narrative.
Smith’s work combines the beautiful and the unsettling, the humorous and the sincere, the banal and the uncanny. Recurring themes in his work include doubt,divergence within a personality and the search for consolation. These themes are explored using multi-layered allegory through an equally layered and expressive use of paint.
His recent work includes figures traveling through ambiguous metaphorical interiors. They are often seen on, or passing through, a somewhat otherworldly threshold.They are psyches held within a state of flux, selves undergoing transformation.
Smith has been a finalist in more than 50 established art prizes across Australia, including the Doug Moran Portrait Prize (2009, 2010) and the Sulman Prize (2010, 2011). Ben has exhibited in South Korea, Denmark, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.
6 April 2020
In 2019 Ben Smith was commissioned by UK based Australian musician, Nick Cave to paint his portrait for his exhibition: "Stranger Than Kindness". The painting was the cover for a feature story on Nick Cave in The Sydney Morning Herald's "Spectrum" magazine on 4-5 April.