Phillip K. Smith III Shows His True Colors, Erin Joyce, δημοσίευση στο Hyperallergic [2/2/2023]
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Phillip K. Smith III’s artwork of today, which sits at an intersection of art and architecture, is a result of his life’s journey through place, memory, and landscape, fueled by light, color, time, and space.
Smith, who grew up in the Coachella Valley, left after high school to attend the Rhode Island School of Design where he was trained in both fine arts and architecture, the latter being his main career upon returning to the desert after 11 years on the East Coast. Though Smith had a successful practice as an architect, he was determined to pursue becoming a full-time artist. It was not until the global recession in 2008, when architecture jobs began to dry up, that he was able to fully make the transition to art.
Returning to the desert was an essential move for Smith. “I believe that I couldn’t be doing the work that I’m doing if I didn’t live here,” he shared with Hyperallergic over Zoom from his Palm Desert studio. “Coming back, I had a great re-awakening to the beauty of the desert.” For many artists there is an unspoken pressure to live and work in major art capitals like New York or Los Angeles, but for Smith, the work is intrinsically tied to the atmospheric experience of the desert, the way the light moves, and the metaphysics of it — each element informs his work. “I missed seeing the horizon line [while living on the East coast], I missed the sense of space and scale. I missed the sunsets and the skies that are dramatic and powerful here every single day.” For the first three months after returning to the Palm Springs region, Smith spent most days hiking, reacclimating himself to the environment and surroundings of the Coachella Valley. “That adjustment period set me on the trajectory and path that I am on now,” he said.
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