"Art that is aesthetically beautiful is extremely important, but effective fantasy art should stimulate thought as well. When my work achieves these objectives, it's successful."
The work of Fritz Smith, in pen and ink, photography, and sculpture does just that. While Fritz is not one to guard the secrets of his inspiration, he is quite interested in the individual's involvement with his work.
Call it avant garde, call it surreal, or call it abstract. For Fritz the labels just don't stick. After twenty years' work his art continues to change, and so Fritz has coined his own term: evolutionary art.
The colorful and intricate pen and ink work of Fritz Smith often contains floating, fluttering "characters." These unique animals, birds, and assorted creatures are filled with a highly detailed rendering that is somewhat reminiscent of Byzantine mosaiacs.
Though the shapes and profles are recognizable, Fritz's energetic abstractions are filled with detail that denies identification. His confident, yet delicate creations seem to taunt one: "Look closer, find something you recognize, I dare you!"
To achieve such stunning color and detail Fritz has researched and formulated his own pigment mixes. Fritz found that colored inks commercially available do not have the saturation necessary to work in great detail. Though Fritz knew pigment color was the solution, finding a reliable source for pigment based color proved to be just as difficult.
With much experimentation, Fritz created a formula that gave him the vibrant, dense color that he needed, but he was faced with one remaining problem. The pigments, though properly mixed, were so dense that they would quickly separate. To solve this dilemma Fritz engineered an electric turntable to keep the pigment bottles in motion.
The bottles are kept rotating at a 60 degree angle, 24 hours a day. This technique has proven to stretch the life of a mix of pigments by many weeks.
Many of the fantastic creations that inhabit Mr. Smith's pen and ink work find their way into his photocompositions as well. In many of Fritz's monochromatic photographs, the figures float in space, as though they exist in a secret dimension visible only to the viewer. To contemplate Fritz's photocompositions is to visit a place where mystical events seem to occur regularly.
Though Fritz's photocompositions and pen and ink work are composed primarily of abstract elements, his sculpture integrates realism and abstraction together. Biomorphic forms become a background for juxtapositions of geometric elements. Glass, bronze, marble and wood all play a role in assembling Fritz's vision of fantasy amidst the human form.
Fritz Smith hs found fantasy to be a liberating subject in all his work, yet he feels realism plays an important role in his art as well. "You have to know the rules before you can break them" says Fritz. The use of realism in all of Smith's work is a very necessary element: "It is notjust the element that people relate to, often it is their entry point into the piece."
Be it pen and ink, photo illustration, or sculpture, Fritz's free form art is a highly accessible, yet unique vision. Contrasting reality with fantasy and the familiar with the obscure, Fritz Smith creates art that is both beautiful in its intricacy and stimulating in its depth.