Michael Smith is a Johannesburg-based artist, writer and teacher. He obtained his BA (Fine Arts) degree from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1996, and has taught at various schools in Johannesburg since 1998. Smith also works as the Managing Editor of online art magazine Art Throb.
Smith’s work often concerns threats to the body; his paintings, drawings and photographs deal with situations and processes that threaten the body’s well being and integrity. In ‘Velocity’, Smith’s photographic images of smoke serve as metaphors for the dramatically thinned-out body. While working as a teacher Smith became interested in the phenomenon of eating disorders amongst young girls he taught. The apparently self-instigated immolation became for Smith an indictment of contemporary notions of body aesthetics; his images are a meditation on self-destruction.
Solo exhibition: The Teenager at Art Space, Johannesburg (2007)
Group exhibitions: Angels 4 Good, Grande Provence Wine Estate Gallery, Franschhoek, Cape Town (2009); curated group show ‘Lazy Eye’ at Gordart Gallery (2008); ‘Scratch’, a two-person show with Fiona Couldridge, at Gordart Gallery (2006); ‘Family Values’, two-person show with Isabel Rea at the Johannesburg Art Foundation; ‘Postcards from South Africa’ at Axis Gallery in New York (1999); ‘Babel Tower’ at Johannesburg Civic Theatre Gallery (1999); ‘The Button Show’ at Johannesburg Civic Theatre Gallery (1998).