Byron Smith

artist

Land Gallery

new york, us

women

Photography by Bruna Kazinoti

“It is amazing to watch them develop, honing their artistic voice”

Unu O unu has teamed up with New York-based gallery and studio LAND, which works with and supports adult artists with intellectual disabilities. LAND is currently working with 15 talented artists, providing them with studio space, high quality art supplies, framing and exhibition opportunities and portfolio development. With LAND, artists can develop their skills in a nurturing environment while their work is marketed to the community in a vibrant and inclusive manner. Their wide range of artists includes painters, sculptors, fibre artists, animators, designers and others who value creative collaboration.

For the unu O unu project, LAND is collaborating with artist Byron Smith on a series of portraits on canvases and textiles. Byron creates vivid and imaginative paintings in a unique style, and he first joined LAND in 2008 after he was encouraged by staff to apply to the program. “He’s a very talented artist and this was evident from the very beginning.” says LAND Gallery Manager Sophia Cosmadopoulos. “His drawings and paintings are a celebration of women and their style. He has a confident and bold line, and the exaggeration of his subjects’ features makes them truly unique. Over the years, his work has grown in sophistication, humour and tenderness.”

“Working with the LAND artists is fulfilling on many levels,” says Sophia, who spoke on behalf of Byron throughout the team-up, as his ability to communicate is limited. “Most of all, it is consistently inspiring to work with artists who are so creative, authentic and motivated. It is amazing to watch them develop, honing their artistic voice. Witnessing the public react so positively to their work is also a great incentive.”

LAND was first drawn to his work because of his clearly individualistic perspective. While he works from visual reference, his renderings are all his own, and invite us into his unique world. Byron‘s work was showcased at the Outsider Art Fair this January (2017) and at the Big-i Art Projects international art show. As he continues to create work, LAND hopes to expand his exhibition history and fan base.

 

The on-going project, launched with Parasol Unit, pays homage to women around the world. For the first series, Byron drew three women who were woven into made-to-order blankets. The profits generated from Byron‘s art sales will be split 50/50: half of the proceeds will go directly to the artist and LAND Gallery and the other half will go towards the second round series of unu O unu workshops.

Text by Flora Yin-Wong

Byron Smith and unu o unu 01

£300

Byron Smith and unu o unu 01

100% cotton jacquard woven blanket with drawing of woman with chequered top on a white background

200 cm high × 140 cm wide, 4cm fringing

£300




Byron Smith and unu o unu 02

£300

Byron Smith and unu o unu 02

100% cotton jacquard woven blanket with drawing of woman on a blue background

200cm high × 140cm wide, 4cm fringing

£300




Byron Smith and unu o unu 03

£300

Byron Smith and unu o unu 03

100% cotton jacquard woven blanket with woman with natural colour jacket on a white background

200cm high × 140cm wide, 4cm fringing

£300