Cedric Smith is an artist whose images suggest a child-like playfulness. “I’ve always painted for the fun of it,” he says. “I try to paint like a kid, no rules, and no boundaries.”
Smith, a self-taught artist, was born in Philadelphia in 1970. He never thought he could make a career of his work until he met artist William Tolliver, who invited him to visit his studio. “I was blown away,” says Smith, “he had his own gallery and was self-taught.” It gave Smith the motivation he needed.
Unfocused at first, Smith found inspiration in the lyrics of a song that proclaimed, “Most of our heroes don’t appear on no stamps.” Not wanting to paint people, he began placing photographic images in the context of his paintings. Smith sees this as “a way to make some ordinary person look famous.” In his richly textured paintings, children and adults peer from colorful rural landscapes or from the faces of antique advertisements. He uses the black and white photographs in his paintings as a way to merge past and present, normal and fabulous.
Cedric Smith has been exhibiting his work both in groups and solo exhibitions since 1997. His paintings are collected at The Tubman Museum in Macon, GA, and in The Francis Walker Museum in Thomaston, GA.