Schick Art Gallery

Ed Smith
Artist Statement

My work is based on myths and in heroism; it is rooted in the Homeric tradition both formally and contextually. I refer viewers to The Iliad, Book 6 and to the “Passion of Hector.”

For this exhibition I put forth two groups of work - reliefs and bronze standing figures.

The bronze figures need no more explanation than that of a man/woman heroically standing, fighting and asserting the power of the individual. Titles like Apollo and Amazon provide clues to the viewer. This work references the classical sculptures of the Riace Bronzes and Apollo Sauroktonos, as well as Rodin’s Balzac and his Walking Man.

The second group of work is comprised of reliefs based upon the great metopes of the Parthenon. They tell a narrative and are part of a series of more than fifty reliefs titled The Grand Battle, Songs of Heroism.  These reliefs loosely follow the dialogue of Ajax and Ulysses in the Metamorphoses by Ovid, Book XIII. This colloquy considers the conflict over Achilles’ armor, but can also be expanded into a rumination on the relationship of mind and body, as well as an allegory on the artist’s position in society.

Finally, I hope the following passage might provide some insight, while still allowing the viewer wide latitude in addressing my work. To me, the passage conveys the essence of myth and heroism.

     And when the moment came they were minded to resist and suffer, rather than to fly and save their lives; they ran away from the word dishonor, but on the battle-field their feet stood fast,  and  in an instant, at the height of their fortune, they passed away from the scene, not of their fear, but of their glory.*

Ed Smith, 2013

* Pericles’ Funeral Oration from The Peloponnesian War by Thucydides (460-395 BC)      Translation by Benjamin Jowett, Clarendon Press,  1881


(Click here for Smith resume)