JED WEBSTER SMITH
Lives and works in New York
"The American West and its mythic characters have repeatedly been used to express national ideals. I am interested in using the past, specifically that of the West, to expose my perspective of the present and to challenge the myths that exist. Within my own body of work I examine contemporary issues through the use of historical narratives, Western archetypes, and our perception of the past. The genre provides an identifiable image that is uniquely connected to the American experience. I use the visual language of the West to explore current topics of American life in context with the distorted realities of our past.
Like the Westerns I grew up with, my own work is camouflaged in a vail of nostalgia. The figures in my work are often portrayed against a stark background. This forces the viewer to recognize the myth before the critique exposes itself. I work from observation and my imagination using watercolor and traditional printmaking methods. The figurative images I create are heavily researched. By using the West, a subject that I am both familiar with and continue to question, I aim to engage with our inherent perceptions of the past and the myths embedded within."
- Jed Webster Smith