The artist, David Aaron Smith, lives his life around reclaiming material. The extreme waste of living a conventional American life forced Aaron into a remote area of Death Valley where he's been working with the byproducts of consumer lifestyle. It's become a daily practice for Aaron to observe how the systems in place facilitating human life dictate the choices you have.
When the opportunity presented itself to project this personal outlook onto the big stage of San Francisco, Aaron's brain started churning. What he wants is to create something that is San Francisco, from concept to materials.
On September 26th, Aaron arrives in San Francisco with a small team to build 10 to 12 life-size assemblage canvases from reclaimed materials from the streets of San Francisco. Aaron will then take 10-12 San Francisco residents who are dealing with displacement; from those looking for solutions to the housing crisis, to those providing relief, those scrambling for footing, and those managing the material debris that follows displacement.
The result is a multi-media portrait show that tells the story of San Francisco's present. In another facet, it comments on the way cities build systems for dealing with societal byproducts that are not always empathetic.
There's an additional dimension of charity to the show. A portion of the sales will be donated to a non-profit working against displacement of the sitter's choosing.
GARDENVILLE STATION SHOWING
This is a look at the show's first install.
This portrait of Deborah Munk, shows a different approach to using negative space within the layers of reclaimed material.
For Deborah's face, the artist leaned more heavily on his painting ability then in any of the others.
This passage of the painting featuring potted succulents painting in a more abstract-expressionist way.
The portrait of Angle Gurgovitz was the first portrait done for the show. It shows more of a sculptural approach to the materials that were gathered.
Gwendolyn Westbrook is one of the most important people working to keep the Bayview's unique neighborhood intact by fighting to keep its residents from being displaced.
You can see here a mixture of the artist's painting skills mixed with his commitment to integrating reclaimed materials.
A portrait of Charm's Cevin Meissner made with the almond shells Cevin is also using to synthesize into hydrogen fuel.
Cevin's portrait against the backdrop of the machine he's building to make hydrogen fuel from agricultural waste.
Marie is a long-time resident of the Bayview neighborhood who has been stabilized by Mother Brown's Hope House program.
This work gets much comparison to Picasso, but the work is also reminiscent of the work of other Cubists, Fernand Leger, and Robert Delaunay.
Here's a photo of David Aaron Smith standing in front of the work showing the scale of these pieces and the herculean effort it took to make these in 7 days.
Katelyn Doherty is one of the three-artist team that helped Aaron make the work during the week. She also put her own flavor on a few pieces.
During the video interviews, Aaron sat with people to make portrait studies that he transferred to the large-scale work. He and the team made frames out of the remaining material.
A board used for painting individual pieces used in the larger scale work became a wonderful backdrop for Morgan's portrait.