Michael Bell-Smith takes familiar visual elements from games, advertising, interiors, and corporate design, among other places, and positions them within unexpected conceptual frameworks. His digital animations and appropriations wryly reflect upon our cultural moment: as he tracks the circulation and proliferation of images and sounds, he charts a rapidly changing history of viral content. He mixes flatness with deep perspectives and motion with stillness in dynamic meditations on the image’s hold on truth.
Michael Bell-Smith (East Corinth, ME, 1978) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He holds a BA in Semiotics from Brown University, Providence, RI, and an MFA from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY.
Selected exhibitions include: “Mall Punk”, Kunsthall Stavanger, Norway (solo) (2017/2018); “Web 2.0.”, organized by Paul Slocum and Thierry Tilquin, Senne, Brussels; Foxy Production (solo) (both 2017); “The Diet”, Kayne, Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles (solo) (2016); “Greater New York”, MoMA PS1, Queens, NY (2015-2016); “Sound Spill”, Zabludowicz Art Projects, New York, NY; “Spectacle: The Music Video”, Museum of the Moving Image, Queens, NY; (both 2013); “Is This Thing On?”, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH; “ICA MECA”, Portland, ME (solo) (both 2012); “Hiroshima”, MOCA, Japan (solo project); “The Cinema Effect: Illusion, Reality, and the Moving Image: Part I – Dreams”, Caixaforum, Madrid and Barcelona, Spain (both 2011); “Abandon Normal Devices”, FACT, Liverpool, UK (2009); “The Liverpool Biennial”, Liverpool, UK; “Montage: Unmonumental Online”, The New Museum, New York, NY; “Blown Away”, Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL (all 2008); “The Singles Collection”, SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA; “Playback”, Musée dʼArt Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France; “Reality Bytes”, Dallas Center for Contemporary Art, Dallas, TX ( all 2007); and “Butch Queen Realness with a Twist in Pastel Colors Video Show”, Tate Liverpool, UK (2005).
Bell-Smith’s works are in the permanent collections of Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; The Bass Museum of Art, Miami, FL; Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, FL.
Heinrich, Will. “Sea Spume, Magic Hands and Miniature Worlds: Jeff Shore and Jon Fisher at Derek Eller, Michael Bell-Smith at Foxy Production, Louis Fishman at Cheim & Reid.” The Observer. 8 Oct. 2012: B9
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