Proverbs for Paranoids

October 23, 2008

By Mike Landry
Pete Smith's "Owtzdowe."

Pete Pete Smith's "Owtzdowe."

Rather than spending his lunch hours Tupperware dining, Pete Smith would go exploring with his digital camera. He was living in Toronto at the time and was documenting the physical geography around his home and his work—graffiti, billboards, paint spills and what he calls “visual interferences in our visual landscape.”

“Our landscape is pretty much filled with junk—graphic junk that we don’t really notice or pay attention to because there’s just so much or it and it’s all competing,” says Smith.

His latest series of abstract paintings take these visual interferences, and reworks them in an act of escapism from this busy world. The works are part of a new exhibition called Proverbs for Paranoids. Sometimes he takes recognizable forms like the city of Toronto, or the recycling, logo, but mostly he takes images hidden in the background of advertisements and logos.


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