During some downtime from Red Hot Chili Pepper activities, Chad Smith has been exploring the visual arts. Four years ago Smith collaborated with Los Angeles design firm SceneFour on a series of “rhythm on canvas” paintings. Now he has a second collection, which is premiering in Austin, Texas, this week.
The pieces start with Smith playing LED-lit sticks in a dark room while being photographed with open-shutter cameras. The images are then transferred to canvas, which Smith then paints with various implements.
“The different part of this exhibition is that I added to eighty of the pieces,” Smith explains. “I had a big table with all kinds of paint and chalk, screwdrivers, knives, and I just kind of went for it. I would put the piece up on the easel and in the spirit of the moment, like a drum performance, just kind of improvise on the pieces and how they made me feel.”
You can take a peek at Chad’s process at chadsmithart.com, and if you find yourself in Austin this weekend, you can see Chad in person showing his work at the Russell Collection. He’ll be there on Saturday the 11th from 6 to 9 p.m. and on Sunday the 12th from noon to 3. For more information and to see a trailer for the show, go to russell-collection.com. The gallery is located at 1009 West 6th Street in Austin, and can be reached at (512) 478-4440.
Interview by Stephen Bidwell