Sam Shmith – 'Untitled (Synthetics 4)'
Young emerging artist Sam Shmith is fast becoming highly collectable. His works appear in the collections of Art Bank, influential collector Patrick Corrigan and the National Gallery of Victoria. The Albury Regional Art Gallery acquired 'Untitled (Synthetics 4)' (2009) through the 2010 National Photographic Prize.
The work is typical of Shmith's landscapes, which are digitally composited from a vast library of original photographs, through a process the artist likens to painting. Using Adobe Photoshop, he works in a gestural manner with a graphics tablet. This digital imaging environment forms the core of his practice and most accurately translates as his medium.
Using his photographic archives as raw ingredients, Shmith uses these images to 'paint' large-scale landscapes that sit between the real and the surreal. Their imposed luminosity and rich add to a prevailing sense of the artificial – the synthetic. Many of his photographs are taken from behind the glass of moving vehicles, creating a sense of being cocooned from the natural environment.
Recognition of Shmith's work includes his selection as GQ's 'Artist of the Year' in 2010 and shortlisting for the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photographic Award in 2011.