Ben Smith is a rare artist in his ability to combine strong classical technique with painterly abstraction and oblique narrative.
Smith’s work combines the beautiful and the unsettling, the humorous and the sincere, the banal and the uncanny. Recurring themes in his work include doubt,divergence within a personality and the search for consolation. These themes are explored using multi-layered allegory through an equally layered and expressive use of paint.
His recent work includes figures traveling through ambiguous metaphorical interiors. They are often seen on, or passing through, a somewhat otherworldly threshold.They are psyches held within a state of flux, selves undergoing transformation.
Smith has been a finalist in more than 50 established art prizes across Australia, including the Doug Moran Portrait Prize (2009, 2010) and the Sulman Prize (2010, 2011). Ben has exhibited in South Korea, Denmark, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.
In 2019, Smith was commissioned by Nick Cave to paint his portrait for his 2020 exhibition: "Stranger Than Kindness". The Nick Cave Exhibition is a journey into the creative world of the musician, storyteller and cultural icon - on show in Copenhagen, Denmark from 23 March until 3 October, 2020.