It’s a Paradise and it’s a War Zone

Artist 'Get Smart,' presents an exhibition of paintings and collage.

07/07/23 - 03/08/23 Opening: Preview 5:30-7:30pm Friday 7th July 2023

Get Smart is the pseudonym for an Avant Garde artist whose previous exhibitions have included recent shows at the Quarry Arts Centre and the Mangawhai Artists Gallery.
The artist can be described as an unrepentant outsider whose paintings feature radical statements concerning politics, culture, feminism and a plethora of social issues. The work is bold and courageous, a visual explosion of graffiti style information. The artists practice discusses humanities shortcomings, corporate undoing’s, and nefarious actions against society and the environment.
The exhibition will also feature collage artworks reminiscent of the Punk movement. A specific portrayal of social and cultural commentary. Original punk visual art movements embraced collage for album covers, posters and artwork. The concept of assembly, cutting, ripping, repurposing permeates deep into punk aesthetics, a culture with roots in anti-establishment, with a do-it-yourself mantra, an alternative to conservatism in actions and art.
Get Smarts moving oeuvre embraces punk as she explores the experiential realities of her life, every work a leaf from a social anthropologists’ summary abstract. There is a confrontational edginess to the works emphasized by the vigorous action of the brushstrokes, words are painted on, painted over and crossed out, the layers are built up. There are multiple colour combinations, magenta with neon green, gold and black, sometimes painted out in a white fog. Painted words are used like braille on the surface, they jostle for attention, creating a moral dichotomy, fearlessly outspoken with blunt narratives. There are moments of poignancy too in borrowed song titles like John Lennon’s ‘Imagine there’s no heaven.’ There are glimpses of humour that lighten the work, with colloquial expressions such as ‘popped your clogs.’ By her own admission Get Smart wants us to ‘hear songs, laugh but feel challenged.’
There is no expectation towards great and glorious art, but a platform for expression, and a striving for equality by self determination. As an observer the powerful body political can make us uncomfortable, but there is an irresistible saccharine in the colour palette, with sweeteners, and complexities swirling amongst the statements. We are delt a visual hammer blow through Get Smarts practice.
Think graffiti, think Basquiat, think there’s a War Zone simmering in Paradise. Come on down.
Hangar Gallery 14 Cross St Regent Whangarei