NEW YORK, NY.-
Venezuelan-born painter Roxa Smith has joined the growing roster of artists at C24 Gallery
. Smiths journey from South America has taken her through years as a California-based landscape painter to New York City, inspiring her more recent focus on interiors that often lead the eye to outward views. Sharpened by the last couple of years of pandemic-related isolation, she channels her memories, observations and sensibilities related to history, access, luxury, class, safety, freedom and nature into colorful renderings of living spaces that operate on multiple levels.
From a personal standpoint, as a Latinx gay woman, Smith embodies an existence that is lowkey, yet nevertheless outside the cultural mainstream. Her perspective is filtered through her renderings of the decorative patterns, furnishings and views from inside places that represent her honor of family and history, and the love she feels for home and culture. Her work explores the paradox of belonging and not belonging, the layers of identity bridging her southern and northern dual heritage, and the sense of isolation she has sometimes experienced, magnified in recent times by the pandemic lockdown.
With their kaleidoscopes of color, objects and perspectives, Smiths interiors depict the vast complexities of both her inner life and nuanced reflections of society at large. Her renderings of rooms include views to the outside cityscapes, Central and South American folk art, and upscale furnishings. With subtle irony, her work juxtaposes fraught cultural symbols like Columbus Circle with the gated windows of South American mansions that exclude indigenous people. Her chair portraits with plants pay tribute to the elements of her surroundings that grew to become her close companions this past year, capping off this many-faceted exploration of interiority and isolation.
From garden views and seaside homes to iconic NYC locations like Union Square and Coney Island, Roxa Smith imbues her paintings with a colorful assortment of places and objects, collaged together to recount personal stories and memories. Masterfully capturing the energy and vibrancy of life in the warmth of a decorated living room, the lushness of a well-planted yard or the cacophony of activity taking place in city streets and parks, she celebrates a world that is joyful in its multiplicity and capability of renewal.