Patricia Smith at the Front Room Gallery Williamsburg
Brooklyn Art Review
Welcome to my vaudeville. A pencil driven farce designed to extract you from the battlefield of routine. (It’s not a pencil, it’s a weapon!) Persistently refusing to confront reality is Patricia Smith as beautifully illustrated in Mapper, her show at the Front Room Gallery in Williamsburg. (Sh-Sh-Shame on you, Brooklyn Zoooooo!!!) She has been wondering the world asking the question. Why the cosmos is made of matter? Among many others along that line. Walking the streets of Paris, Barcelona and many more cultural centers of Europe, Ms. Smith has been searching for patterns in the most random of niches were a residue of history is still lurking. Unfamiliar places, unchanged and unchangeable.
She has been collecting impressions of physical locations in order to create idiosyncratic cartographic explorations of the psyche and mental states. Her antique pencil recreates hidden passages through the mind. Neuron maps as delicate as flowers. The very intersections of thoughts, ideas, decisions and roundabout choices. If fate could be mapped there it is. We desperately need those maps as we gradually grow out of being artists. (We are all born artists!) Our schools and all seeing and knowing teachers have educated us that selling stocks is better, safer, enriching and dancing is for fools. Well! Is it too late for reconditioning?
The involuntary kleptocracy of society is on the verge of winning. But it is never too late to exit your very personal roundabout at the Williamsburg Bridge. For culture is as necessary as water to the lives of us ordinary people. (I recently saw a production of Hamlet in the basement of a bar and it gave me more energy than all the sugar in the world.) It’s the best drug there is. And when you sift through the layers of the city and find a great artist like Ms. Smith your biochemical infrastructure releases propeptides – brain chemicals that light up vitality and make you feel alive and kicking. That’s how you want to enter the spring. En garde!
more by MILEN VASILEV
As originally published on March 6, 2014 by AskANewYorker – Patricia Smith at the Front Room Gallery Williamsburg