Interview with Timothy Robert Smith ( English )Japala: Hi Tim. Congratulations on your upcoming art show at Bergamot Station. It seems like a great start of 2014.
Tim: Thank you very much.
J: What is the title of your new exhibit? Is your “Dimensionalism” the main composition of it?
T: There is no “official” title of the show, but we can call it “Kaleidoscopic Realism”. And yes, the main theme of the show is about multiple dimensions intersecting in time and space.
J: I know that you are into science, but what do you believe in this world? What is your personal opinion on reality?
T: I believe that reality is something that we are all creating with our consciousness, collectively. Not just humans, but all life on earth.
J: Do you mean, “if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything” type of thing? Or the reality is controlled by others who do not exist in this dimension?
T: The first part I agree with. Ok let me clarify. We all create our own personal reality. If I randomly meet you on a train, it is because a part of my mind “invented” you, the you that exists in that particular time and space; but also, at the same time, you have “invented” me. This is how our collective experience works. It’s hard to explain.
J: If you could meet anybody in art world including alive and dead, who would you pick?
T: I’ve always wanted to meet Winston Smith, the collage artist for the Dead Kennedys. I interviewed him for a zine a made when I was younger, but never meet him. And, of course, I would love to meet Dali.
J: So was Winston Smith one of the first artists who made you get into art?
T: Yes. I instantly responded to his work. It’s really raw and simple, but contains an enormous power. I mean, I was 15 at the time, so there was not much of a filter; but I still dig his work today.
J: Is there anyone else who is attracting you with art conceptually or visually today?
T: I’m into Eric White, Nicola Verlato, Robert Birmelin, Rackstraw Downes, F. Scott Hess, Peter Zokosky, Wayne White, and many more that I can’t think of right now.
J: What do you think is going on in Los Angeles art world right now?
T: LA art lives in the chaos of a fast paced urban landscape, mixed with film crews, tourism and the tranquility of the Pacific Ocean. There’s a strong realism scene that I find myself a part of; seeming to thrive in this environment. I think it works because there is so much reality to depict. Maybe it’s not as intense as New York, but there’s something else here…I can’t really explain it. Could be the weather.
J: Are there places where you get inspired to do your Dimensionalism?
T: Trains, buses, downtown Los Angeles, convenience stores, airports…. Places where lots of people are coming and going in different directions. The randomness helps me compose a picture with different perceptions of reality.
J: I feel like I am almost watching “Twilight Zone” when I see your painting. What is your next episode?
T: I’ve been thinking a lot about worlds within worlds, and living in bubble. The other day I stumbled across a strange community of a few thousand people in the middle of the desert. They had two large man-made lakes that the people referred to as “beaches”. It was a cool place, but everything felt too perfect, isolated and controlled. I think it was mostly for retired people, but there were some younger folks cruising around. It was sort of like “The Truman Show”. Anyway, I want to make a painting about that, but where our idea of reality is a bubble and outside is something larger.