of the Month, February 1999
H.E.A.R. is honoring Winston Smith our long time friend and creative
artistic genius as Artist of the Month . Winston has generously donated
his talents and artwork to H.E.A.R. for years. You can find his work on
our T-shirts, cards, album covers, posters. Winston is currently showing
at the Lawrence L. Hultberg Fine Art Gallery in San Francisco and celebrating
the release of his new book, " Art Crime: The Montage art of Winston
Smith Volume II. Thanks Winston!
Dossier of an Art-Criminal
Armed with razor blade and a fiendish wit, Winston Smith's modus operandi
the 1970's has been to kidnap "innocent" images from the pages
of vintage magazines
and then to diabolically glue them into compromising or politically revealing
positions in his surreal collage landscapes. "Truly subversive artwork"
wrote the SF Weekly in a review of Smith's first book Act Like Nothing's
Wrong."Per haps the most vibrant collage maestro since Max Ernst,"
write popular underground artist Frank Kozik who goes on to credit Winston
with being"single-handedly responsible for an entire generation's
"Winston first came to infamy by way of his hard hitting political
piece, Idol - a "bowling trophy style" Jesus nailed to a cross
of dollars that was used for the DEAD KENNEDYS' album In God We Trust,
Inc. That album, which was subsequently banned in England and condemned
by the American Religious Right, landed Smith and DEAD KENNEDYS a permanent
spot in the punk culture hall of shame. Two decades down the line, Winston's
style continues to have political punch, but has also developed an almost
classical surrealism. His recent album cover for Tijuana No!'s - Contra
Revolucion Avenue has been called the collage equivalent
of a cross between Picasso's "Guernica" and the social realism
of a Diego Rivera WPA-era mural.
Another fine example of his new style is Apocalypse Wow!, a full page
spread commissioned by SPIN magazine that depicts a swirling end-of-the-world
populated with a mind-blowing array of whimsical images from sword carrying
angels to flying poodles. Smith, once known only to DK fans and the punk
underground cognoscenti, has been gaining popularity in mainstream culture.
He's had one-man shows in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, London
and Rome. His debut book, Act Like Nothing's Wrong, published in 1994
by Last Gasp of San Francisco was favorably reviewed a wide variety of
regional and national magazines. His eighteen month sojourn as illustrator
for SPIN magazine's Topspin political page (1995-96) further brought his
work to national attention as did his award for Best Cover Illustration
from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies in 1997. And on the musical
front, his bizarre Insomniac alum cover for the popular neo-punk band
GREEN DAY was indicated as a favorite in a 1996 readers poll in Rolling
Stone Magazine. The growing demand for Winston's humorous and controversial
collage illustrations has prompted the release of his second book, Artcrime,
and the production of his first-ever series of collectible archival prints.
The jumbo scale and fine quality of this new print series hugely expands
the already powerful visual impact of Winston's work. Intricate collages,
formerly seen only in miniature on CD covers or in newsprint, take on
a whole new life when printed on archival water color paper and blown
up to 3' x 4'. We have arrived at the threshold of the twenty first century.
It's time to call off the art police. The work of mischievous art-criminal
Winston Smith is finally being brought to full color justice.
"...from Kurt Schwitter's "merz" to Heartfield's photomontage
warnings of global fascism, Winston Smith's use of pop magazine images
keeps in sharp focus the ever encroaching apocalyptic nightmare. ... S.
Winston Smith has always stormed the Citadel of the Image Police. Like
William Bourrougs cut-ups, he cuts through tradition and cliched lines
of association to create new thoughts ultimately aimed at the destruction
of all authoritarian false conciousness. ...V. Vale/ V-Search.
Winston Smith, in an overt, life-long act of political and artistic irony,
takes the wet-dream inducing icons of America's Industrial-Military golden
and turns them on their head, using their inherent Social Realist propaganda
stylings to spread the ideology of the extreme deep Left. Perhaps the
most vibrant collage maestro since Max Ernst and single-handedly responsible
for an entire generation's graphic style, Winston continues to stomp the
upturned face of The Man, endlessly. ...Frank Kosz San Francisco 1997
H.E.A.R. Poster Girl