I recently had an interview on Tracks magazines website.
You can view it here
Or you can read it below…
I’ve known Brent Smith for quite some time. In fact we used to play soccer together when we were six, we studied design at the same school and we were kind of in a gang called The Bandidos [they didn’t have a Manly chapter so we took it upon ourselves to form one, that chapter is now closed].
Brent’s now moved on from his “gang bangin” days [that sounds bad], and seems to have realised his potential as a talented artist, illustrator, and frequent board snapper.
When he’s not at the local ding repair shop you’re likely to find him lying on the floor at Manly’s finest establishment – the Steyne, or having a séance with fruit. Brent’s artworks have been published, worn, and stolen, and I would describe his work as being stuck in a trip on day of the dead. It’s humorous, dark, colourful and tasty all at the same time. Kinda like acid.
We decided to talk to him about his next exhibition, how he eats his subjects and other art stuff … you know, paint, drawing dicks and tits … the usual.
Would you like to introduce yourself to the Internet?
Good. Tell us about where you grew up, and does it have any influence on your work?
I grew up on the Central Coast of NSW, and yeah I’m sure it has. I tend to paint bongs quite a bit and also characters getting wasted, that’s very Coastie.
When did you realize you weren’t bad at drawing and thought, ‘maybe I can do this instead of cleaning up vomit at 3 in the morning’?
It was in about 2007, although I continued to clean up vomit for several years after that moment.
Do you miss the vomit?
Its hard to give up something your so good at doing. No one could get the chunks of carrot and half digested schnitzel out of patterned pub carpet quite like I could … but no.
Tell us about working with Reg Mombassa and Mambo?
It was really good. There was a lot of hard work, late nights and arguments, but they flew me all around the world and let me work on some huge projects. I’ve been to Reg’s house a few times. He’s a really nice guy and his house is filled with some of the most memorable art, but it’s ridiculous but to be honest because he wouldn’t be able to pick me put of a line up. There’s one Mambo character that most people don’t know about though and that’s Wayne Golding. He was the Art Director, voice and mind behind a lot of the most iconic pieces that came out of mambo when it was at its peak. I picked Wayno’s brain whenever he was around.
Tell us about the work in your upcoming exhibition with Mambo artist Lee Mcconnell?
It’s actually the third exhibition I’ve had with Lee in the last two years. We worked together well at Mambo so it’s good to keep that colab going. I get inspired by absurd stuff, lots of bright colours. Hopefully that puts a smile on someone’s face because making people laugh is important.
Describe the title Goon Island, it sounds like a sixteen-year-old’s paradise. Should we be expecting Rolf Harris?
Heavy. Yeah I guess it comes back to the Central Coast thing. Your best memories are of summer, drinking goon and fucking around so I guess it’s a nod to those days. No wobble boards.
I described your work in the intro as being stuck in a trip on day of the dead, how would you describe your work?
Ha yeah pretty similar. I’d say its funny, unpretentious and surreal.
Any other exciting projects in works?
I recently painted a Mexican restaurant – Rojo Rocket at Avoca on the Central Coast – eight days straight of painting and sanding. It was a monster job, but turned out great. I’m currently working on a capsule range for French surf brand Sen No Sen, the owner has given me free reign so that’s been refreshing.
Would you like some people to come to the exhibition?
Yeah it’d be good. 27th of August [Tomorrow], The Tate Gallery in Glebe, Sydney. There’s free beer.