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Zak Smith

20 Eyes in My Head

January 26 through March 2, 2002

Zak Smith, Clarissa Looking Like a Pink Floyd Groupie, 2001
Zak Smith, Jill, Tasty, On the Floor, 2001
Zak Smith, Notes, 2002
Zak Smith, Jena with Sunkist and Sunkist-colored Shirt, 2000

Press Release


20 Eyes in my Head

January 26 through March 3, 2002


Fredericks Freiser Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Zak Smith. The Artist makes paintings, photographs as well as various hybrids. This will be his first one-person exhibition. In late February, he will also exhibit work with this gallery at the Armory Show 2002.


Zak Smith’s world moves from sharply rendered poignancy to candy-colored excess. Within a general atmosphere of a dazed freneticism, he offers uncanny and excessive portraits, synthetically luminous abstractions, and a slightly narrative grouping of drawings, which is created using a unique photo-chemical process.


In “I’m Real Busy and Stuff” many drawings of labyrinthine intricacy are printed together on four large sheets of paper.  Figures of monkeys and beasts grin and cavort like cathedral gargoyles amid  a landscape of abstract paintings and old television sets while unwitting, quietly-lit people live out their lives in inscrutably believable ball point pen. The color is that of a slow burn- a haze.


In contrast, Smith’s paintings of female friends are strikingly vivid. Though often painted from life, these portraits sit equidistant from inky black-and-white photocopy-like photo-realism, the frozen sensuality of devotional painting, and the cut-rate opulence of classic comic-book covers. Always depicted in interiors, Smith’s women emanate a power that strikes an odd harmony with the detritus and liquid-lit chaos of their surroundings.


Like his figurative work, Smith’s abstract photo-paintings and the photographs that inspire them, exist in a world that can’t decide whether it’s awake or asleep, gorgeous or vaguely psychedelic.


Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11am to 6pm. For further information and/or photographs please contact the gallery by telephone at (212) 633-6555 or fax at (212) 367-9502 or email at