1. I first met Harry when my friend, the artist, Don Johnson invited me to join him at an opening of Harry’s photographs in Poughkeepsie. It was 1988. The opening was at Vassar College and we got there late, just as Harry was leaving for dinner with some friends. I was impressed by the quality of the photos and I then also understood that Harry was a sculptor. It was an extremely brief meeting but I remember it clearly. We shook hands, Harry had a toothy smile and as usual he was in a hurry.
2. a statement:
I am a materialist and I believe in the power of material to shape our thinking. Recently I have been thinking of my work as a way of constructing a space for meanings to occur. That space can be rather small and the specific meaning is unimportant to me, because I am interested in the variety meanings generated in my work. The sculpture I make may build domestic space, the space of wildness, illusionistic space, symbolic/psychological space, the space of a story or the space of remembrance and memory, or create a space that makes me move differently when I approach it or move through it. My requirement is that the materials I use exact a kinesthetic or psychological affect on me, either through how I use them or through their own intrinsic qualities. It has to do something. The space is active in some way through the objects/materials and through my workings. I hope that in this way it moves beyond my idiosyncratic methods and desires and travels into the larger world.
Joe Smith is an artist and has been working in sculpture since 1975. He graduated with an MFA degree in sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1980. His work has been exhibited in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Europe. Reviews of his work have appeared in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Art Forum, Art In America and other art journals andpublications. Currently teaching at Mount Holyoke College, Joe Smith lives and works in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts.