Portrait of S.K.

Kieran Smith


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100cm x 120cm


Acrylic on canvas


Tile adhesive, sand & acrylic on canvas. This is a portrait of a writer and music industry figure in Amsterdam who I used to work with. It's executed with a mixture of sand, glue (tile adhesive) and acrylic paint, on canvas using a range of paint scrapers. For whatever reason this canvas needed returning to time and time again - I felt like Frank Auerbach. But unlike Auerbach I can't scrape the material off and start again; I need to do another version on top, and another, and another. Eventually, I found this serene balance which contrasts with the very rough texture of the materials. At one stage during a bitter argument with my (then)girlfriend, she took to the canvas with a carving knife, slashing several large gashes and a few holes. I sat calmly as you like until the fuss was over (she was holding a knife after all) then duly performed the necessary repairs and continued. Because of the multiple layers, this painting is unusually heavy. [The work is unframed].