Who is Mark T. Smith?

Mark T. Smith dedicated his 20’s to establishing what would become his signature look; an integral approach to art that fused the best elements of post-modernism with the best elements of modernism. The result is gravity-defying work that explodes with color, passion, and seemingly effortless workmanship. From the age of 18 until a few years ago, Smith called the changing streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan home. In that time, he made a living as a fine artist, securing at the age of 22 his first major commission, by Walt Disney Company. The project involved the creation of a poster for national distribution announcing the 19th birthday celebration of Walt Disney World, and it introduced Smith’s energetic, active style to the public. It is worth noting that this was the first and only work of art ever commissioned by Walt Disney Company to ever retain the signature of the artist. By 26, he had landed had secured his own, national Absolut™ Vodka campaign, Absolut™ Smith, and after that his reputation began to cement itself in the crowded and frantic New York art scene. Throughout the rest of his 20’s, commissions followed by the likes of MTV, Pepsi, AT&T, HarperCollins, Coors Brewing, Budweiser, VH-1 and many more.

In the years since then, Mark T. Smith has moved from corporate patrons to private ones, so that today commercial commissions make up less than 10% of the artist’s total creative output. Smith has had 13 major solo exhibitions and 19 group exhibitions in a half-dozen states and the United Arab Emirates, and his artwork has been displayed everywhere from museums, galleries, the walls of discerning collectors and the collections of celebrities like Jay Leno, Neil Diamond and Elton John.

But the soul of the New York art scene seemed to atrophy as the 90’s wore on, and in 2003 Mr. Smith said goodbye to New York and relocated the up-and-coming Miami to contribute to the new, vibrant, and authentic artistic scene in that city.

Since his move, Smith has participated twice in the prestigious Art Basel, had four solo art exhibitions, and conceived a project entitled “Miami Moderns”. This project captures the evolution of Miami by focusing on portraits of the City’s most influential and notable residents who are helping to transform the city into a cutting edge cultural and business epicenter. The project was previewed last year at Casa Casuarina (the former Versace mansion on Ocean Drive in South Beach) for a private, super-exclusive opening night kick-off for Art Basel 2005. (Project details at www.miamimoderns.com).

Some of Mr. Smith’s more interesting recent work includes 2 life-sized cows from the New York City Cow Parade in 2000, both of which went to private collectors. (www.cowparade.com). A pair of hand-painted PT Cruisers were commissioned by Daimler-Chrysler in 2002, one driven across the country and the other exhibited at the Cannes Film Festival as part of a worldwide promotional tour. One was auctioned for the charity Operation Smile to a private collector and the other is in the Walter P. Chr ysler Museum’s permanent collection in Michigan. (www.marktsmith.com/pt.html). Smith created an elaborate series of artwork for Yum! Brands, parent company to Taco Bell, A&W Root beer, and Long John Silvers. (www.marktsmith.com/yum).

Mr. Smith graduated from Pratt Institute in 1990 and, in his words, has “never looked back,” which shows in the clear evolution of his work and subject matter. A prolific artist, he has many hundreds of completed paintings, and is constantly pushing himself to allow his style to evolve to better reflect himself and the culture in which he lives. His work can be viewed online at www.marktsmith.com.

Mark T. has appeared on Integral Naked:

Studio View4/2/2007