Sydnei SmithJordan True to Form
At Agora Gallery, June 1 – June 21, 2007
Opening Reception June 7, 6-8 PM
"In my work, I try to let people know what I've been through"—Artist Sydnei SmithJordan
-By NATALIE DAVIS
Artist Sydnei SmithJordan always dreamt of breaking into the New York art scene, but it wasn't until she relocated to Dublin that her vision took shape. Jordan, who originally hails from North Carolina and spent 15 years in California, relocated to Dublin last May. A few months ago, a few of her pieces were featured at downtown Dublin's Blackbird Coffee, where after a bit of prodding from owner Jack Walker, SmithJordan began to pursue New York. This weekend, she is marking a dream fulfilled as "The Manifestation of Form" opens in New York's Chelsea District Agora Gallery. On the eve of its opening Tuesday, however, SmithJordan was still trying to gain a grasp of the moment. "It's overwhelming," she said. "I've been walking in a fog. I've tried to get into the New York art scene for a long time."
Three of SmithJordan's oil on canvas pieces — "The Eye of the Beholder," "I Look to the Hills," and "Jay-Z" — all part of her gray series, will be featured in the exhibition.
"That's where I realized that I actually did have talent for drawing." SmithJordan, who actually holds four degrees in art, eventually studied fine art at the College of Design, Art and Architecture at Santa Monica College and earned an master's degree at the Rhode Island School of Design. SmithJordan began painting regularly while a student at Santa Monica. She taught her self to use oils, which she has been using primarily for the past 10 years.
She eventually utilized her artistic talents to channel the pains and strife of a tumultuous, often abusive childhood into her work. Her works have been collected by a number of celebrities including Sylvester Stallone, Whoopi Goldberg, Patti La Belle, among several others. Says the gallery Web site: "SmithJordan's paintings deal with the essential facets of humanity such as religion, culture, sex and politics, exploring how they relate to and define the individual. Employing a limited palette, her works provide an immediacy of expression, while beckoning the viewer to examine them deeper. Figures and faces confront the audience, peering out to unabashedly display their fundamental character. With the same rigor that she investigates society, SmithJordan daringly delves into the inner regions of herself." These days, SmithJordan said she has begun to explore new facets in her work, dealing with such subjects as heritage, culture and religion.
"A l ot of my work now has more to do with exploring heritage and religion," she said. "The artwork is mainly like body forms and portraiture." SmithJordan said she likes to utilize her work to share parts of herself with others. " In my work, I try to let people know what I've been through," said SmithJordan. "I enjoy sharing my work with other people." She writes on her Web site: "As a romantic surrealist ... the main impetus of my work is the communication of explaining the idea liberating one's mind, self and society. To see what we don't want to see. To explain the unexplainable. To make tangible that which seemed unreachable...The gray series is an expression of my life... ." She said when she moved to the Dublin area she utilized her artwork to learn more about herself and where she wanted to go with it. "When I first moved to Dublin ... I just started to really look at my artwork," she said, in the process discovering more also about herself.
"I guess it worked." SmithJordan's work may now be taking her away from Dublin as she is know consid ering a move to the Washington, D.C. area. Friday, she made the trip by car to New York for this weekend's opening. She will also be featured in another London exhibition next month. Said SmithJordan earlier in the week of the show: "It's pretty much an honor that I've gotten into that realm. I am completely overwhelmed." Though still gathering her footing, Jordan is not simply relishing the moment. Instead, she hopes to touch more people through her talents. "If it didn't move anybody, then it wouldn't be doing what I wanted it to do."Read More Artist Reviews