Sat-Jan23-SkidmoreContemporaryArt-MaxineSmith-Womanon-Lavender-2015-oiloncanvas-40x30Skidmore Contemporary Art presents “Here’s Looking at You” featuring the art of Maxine Smith. The opening reception took place on Saturday, January 23. Celebrities such as Barbara Streisand, and Henry Winkler were in attendance.

See image: Woman on Lavender, 2015, oil on canvas, 40″ x 30″

Maxine Smith was born and raised in New York City where she traveled to school on buses and subways. She spent a lot of time observing people. It fascinated her, and still does, the fact that in this over-populated world we live in, there are no two faces alike…very similar perhaps, but not identical.

She believes we all have our own road map. It was her fascination with the human face that drew her to painting portraits. She prefers to paint people she doesn’t know as it gives her more freedom to create without any pre-conceived notions, or the pressure of having to please.

She says, “As I sit at the easel with a new face before me, someone I have never seen before, it makes my heart beat a little bit faster! The chances are I will never see that person again, a stranger who on canvas will linger. A stranger who will become a friend.

I have always stayed away from painting traditionally “pretty people”. Just doesn’t seem to work for me. I look for character in the subjects face and find very often it is the person that has “lived a life” that most appeals to me. What is behind the smile, the glance, the body language…it is that story that comes alive for me.”

SeSat-Jan23-SkidmoreContemporaryArt-MaxineSmith-theAcrobatse image: The Acrobats (I, II and III), 2014, oil on canvas, 30″ x 24″ each

On view: January 23 – April 20

What: Opening reception
Where: Skidmore Contemporary Art, Bergamot Station 2525 Michigan Avenue, B-4 Santa Monica, 90404
Phone: 310-828-5070