Introducing American photographer Rodney Smith might be overkill, but if you ask him he’d say something like this: “Rodney Smith is a modest man. He can wear an ascot without appearing pretentious. He proclaims himself to be a closet optimist. He believes Modernism took a wrong turn at a wrong time. He thinks Freud saved his life. And he graduated Yale. He lives in a wooded enclave in Snedings Landing, just close enough to Manhattan to meet an editor for lunch at a moment’s notice, but far enough away to mollify his disdain for city living. He loves books. And paper. And printed matter.”
Canadian artist Martin Ouellette’s paintings are inspired by photos of common objects decaying in the urban landscape. With his work he has set out to find the beauty in the banal as he observes the transition from mass-produced objects to trash. His vibrant paintings are full of details; worn out magazines, wires, rusted nails or wooden poles layered with staples and torn up paper, but one thing is sure, if anyone can make decayed objects look like a work of art, it’s definitely Martin Ouellette.