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The Sophisticated Snapshots of Rodney Smith



PHOTO ABOVE
Reed on Skis
Archival pigment print
Edition 25, size varies
gilmancontemporary.com

THE ARTIST
Rodney Smith, rodneysmith.com

BEST KNOWN FOR
Elegantly composed photographs infused with wit and whimsy.

ON THE POWER OF PHOTOGRAPHY
“Photography fits my temperament: It’s very impulsive and it’s high energy, emotional. When I originally became a photographer—45 years ago—the camera had the ability to see the world sharper, with more acuity, more insight; you could see deeper than your own eyes could see. The world is very chaotic, and as humans we don’t have the ability to stop it, to reflect on it. And that’s one of the things I love about the camera. The camera can stop something for a moment and allow you to look at it.”

FILM VS. DIGITAL
“There’s an old aphorism, ‘Change is not necessarily an improvement.’ Digital is great; it’s the future, there’s no question about it. But there’s an atmosphere to film. It gives an effect that is slightly otherworldly, in a way that I find very appealing.”

BLACK & WHITE
“There’s more color in black-and-white than there is in color; there’s a nuance, tonality, shades of gray, and it’s filled with emotion and psychological insight.”

TIMELESS CLASSICS
“Pictures I shot 45 years ago, people think I shot yesterday. That’s exactly what I like. My work is very much out of where I grew up as a young boy—there was much more decorum and graciousness and elegance; a sense of beauty and refinement. My pictures represent a world that I would like the world to be like—slightly beyond our reach, but very possible. The greatest thing to me would be that 50 years from now my work would still speak to people.”

WHAT’S NEXT
December 14, 2015–January 19, 2016: “Rodney Smith—45-Year Retrospective” at Gilman Contemporary in Ketchum, Idaho. A new book, “Rodney Smith: Photographs,” will be available at the gallery during the exhibition and published nationally in late 2016.

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