Simcha Smith's medium is the process of creation itself. Using interdisciplinary methods of creation, Smith's work includes sculptural objects, text, and performance. Smith received BFAs in Apparel & Textile Design and in Studio Art from Michigan State University, later teaching as a full-time nstructor at the university in Apparel & Textile Design. They are currently pursuing an MFA in Art from the University of Minnesota.
The art I create does not focus on the physical objects I produce but emphasizes the act of producing. I see objects as remnants that document the process of art production and I am drawn to materials and methods that show the traces of action. The most recurring example of this in my work is the hand stitch. The value in hand-stitching lies in its imperfection and this inability to achieve the perfection of a machine shows something profoundly human. I create goals for myself that are bound to fail; my work is a series of impossible tasks.
I am often drawn to materials that attempt to mimic the natural or perfect but in doing so, reveal their flaws. Nylon stockings work as a very human invention because through chemical processes the reproduction of a perfect skin is attempted, but the continuous coloring of stockings call to their own artificiality. Plywood is another material I value because it cheaply combines and mimics “natural” woods, but through its composition it exposes the artificiality of itself and wood as material.
My objects/materials never serve as metaphors. The objects I use have their own histories and have history acted upon them, and I try to utilize all that they bring. In my process, materials are specifically chosen for their histories and it is essential that the life and history of that object is respected. While it is not essential that the audience and I have the same interpretation of these histories, my relation to the materials is key to authentically creating.