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Guy Richards Smit


“This modern-day vanitas will send shivers down your funny bone… Rife with gallows humor” -Artspace


“Smit has subverted the idea of traditional portraiture by combining it with the traditional memento mori, offering a new way of looking at humanity.” -Mandatory


Trela Media is poised to release a new 184-page full-color book of works from Guy Richards Smit on October 20, 2020, available wherever books are sold. The forthcoming publication presents artist Guy Richards Smit’s ambitious painting project A Mountain of Skulls (and Not One I Recognize), an ongoing, exhaustive, dizzying collection of watercolor and gouache paintings that was started in 2015. The publication will include 220 works, essays by British historian and best-selling author Jerry Brotton, The American art critic and curator Christian Viveros-Fauné and an interview with Ariela Gittlen and designed by award winning graphic designer Jenny Miles.

A Mountain of Skulls... is an oddly affecting meditation on mortality, history and unbelievable human suffering. A village’s worth of the dead, dumped in a mass grave with their personalities, traits, desires and dramas intact. A lumbering death march of wise cracking memento moris demanding their humanity be acknowledged.

Born and raised in New York City, Guy Richards Smit is a video artist, performer, musician and painter who’s work has been seen at biennials as well as at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and The Hirshhorn Museum In Washington DC. He was recently included in the exhibition “Stand Up” at The Pompidou Center, Paris. Recent solo exhibitions include Spring Break, curated by Carol Bove, 2017 and he has toured internationally as the lead singer and song writer of Maxi Geil! & PlayColt. He recently completed a 5-episode “sitcom” called The Grossmalerman Show with the legendary director Joshua White (Max Headroom, Seinfeld etc). 


“Hilariously trenchant memorials to human vanity… Human specimens who inspire some degree of sympathy, endearment, regret or pathos, and those for whom I relish my contempt in equal measure.” -Artillery Mag

“A classic memento mori that here stands as a reminder of the ever-looming death of careers and aspirations in art.” -Blake Gopnik, Artnet News

“The paintings, individualized memento mori, encourage the viewer to meditate upon the fragility of life, inevitability of death and the question, “what remains?””  -Arcade Project

“Death and life, existence and absence, thought-provoking and ridiculous are intertwined” -Bant Mag

“An exhaustively impressive and ambitious collection” -Crack Magazine

“Smit mischievously reminds us that we can approach the situation [death] with amusement, even laughter” -spoonbill & sugartown


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