We had the good fortune of connecting with Geoffrey Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Geoffrey, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
It’s never been much of a choice for me. Making art and more broadly just making in general has always been a coping mechanism for me. I’m not sure I could stop even if I could. There have been times in my life where I had almost no time for creativity but a little always leaked through. I figured out how to draw stickers just a line or two at a time in between tasks operating a a giant roll to roll printer for instance. Just keeping that toe in the water helped me. It’s very much a part of my identity and to “give up” would be a kind of psychological death. To make a living at it on the other hand would be the epitome of living in a dream. In reality, I’m dog paddling somewhere in the middle.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I would consider myself multi-disciplinary as an artist. I can’t seem to sit still in one medium or another. I’ve always been led to think that isn’t really a good thing, and it might not be. I have been able to finally come to a place where there is a certain tone running through the many mediums though and essentially I think it is surrealism, dadaism and storytelling. I’ve always loved reading and story telling, especially authors and artists that are able to create entire immersive worlds of fiction. What I’m interested in is how to manifest or indicate such networks of fiction and false histories indirectly through artifacts, hoax, fabricated records and public sculpture/street art. I may or may not work under false names sometimes to extend the world further. All in good fun of course, all with the air of the bizarre and otherworldly.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Assuming the pandemic wasn’t strangling my night life, I’d take them to my favorite pub in Marietta, MacCracken’s. Its an excellent setting to begin fabricating a fiction. I like old cemeteries, and there is a vast one or two in Marietta, also memorial cemetery in the middle of the city. East Atlanta village is a good place to wander around, and of course hike around on the beltline to plant some little unsolicited sculptures amongst the landscaping and tiny doors, and Evreman artifacts. I’ve become a bit out of touch with the gallery scene since my daughter was born but I know White Space, Get This!, Atlanta Contemporary and MOCA GA are still there. Gotta stop buy the Center of Puppetry Arts, and I might finish the week and get weird at an Arthouseatl event. Such a vast city, so little time. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I don’t know if I’m in a place that I would call successful yet but I’m getting to make art, and make a little money from it so that’s something I guess. Many people have helped me out in my career as a creative. My wife and family are probably the first that should be thought of, my life would look very different without them. I’ve been inspired by many artists along the way, its hard to name one without naming them all. Matt Haffner served as my first personal connection to an artist that was very real. He made me feel like it was ok to question things and not find the answers, and that there are many paths. Once again though, a life and education is an ever lengthening tapestry of influences and I don’t want to single out any particular threads, but if you know me you’re in the tapestry.