Richard Smith’s Surreal Photography Using Everyday Imagery

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Richard Smith explores unexpected interrelationships between everyday images through surrealist photomontage. Working with elements from nature, pedestrian objects, specially-commissioned photos, and scenes from his travels and neighborhood, he fuses these components into ethereal yet cohesive views that transcend their origins. A self-taught graphic artist with 20+ years of professional experience, Smith incorporates assimilated photographic techniques and modern photomanipulation approaches into his hand-crafted compositions. Smith has been recognized globally for his photomontage art, with his pieces being shared across several U.S. and international creative venues, including: Bored PandaIllusion by Scene360FlusterThe App WhispererThe Savoia, and others.


I asked Richard about his inspiration. He told me, “My process is like carving a sculpture, with the edges of my fingers forming lines to define shapes and reveal serendipitous relationships — not unlike physically placing individual elements as in a paper collage — except I do this through masking, blending and mimicking established photographic techniques like solarization or vignetting. Each piece is meticulously crafted with these and other ingredients, using direct touch to form a hierarchy of narrative. A final composition is the culmination of fusing disparate elements into a kind of empyreal abstract union.


“Ever since first laying eyes on the photomontage medium, I’ve been fascinated with the form, having since been inspired toward a career as a professional graphic artist. Manipulating reality for artistic effect has always been my favorite part of graphic design, so I’ve worked to develop my technique for doing this in my own creations, using photography of the immediate as source material to illustrate and emphasize the artfulness of our ordinary environments. My favorite art is the kind that gets viewers to consider things in new ways. I believe that’s the most exciting thing about sharing creativity: the opportunity for a mind-expanding encounter. It can happen through words, music, visuals, or just keenly noticing what’s right in front of us at any moment. And it’s a wonderful feeling, both to experience and create.”


Wow! Take a look at Richard’s photography below.


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