Nick Smith x Sotheby's

Smith teamed up with Sotheby's Auction House to contribute to their first annual Street Masters collaboration with Fat Free Art gallery in New York. The idea behind the exhibition was to bring together a group of contemporary artists and invite them to reinterpret classical artworks from Sotheby's Master Painting auction on 8th June in New York.

Smith's piece sold on the opening evening.

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LR Nick Smith_ Brother with a Golden Bird.jpg
Agnolo di Domenico del Mazziere, formerly known as the Master of Santo Spirito Portrait of a boy, half length, in a landscape, dressed in black robes and cap oil on panel .jpg

Smith's artist statement...

"After conducting research into the artwork I chose to reinterpret, I discovered that two brothers are credited with its creation, Agnolo and Donnino del Muzzier. The older brother Donnino was largely unnoticed but tax records showed that he was the brother who recieved the payments for the two brothers joint enterprise, while the younger brother, Agnolo was recognised as a talented artist who conducted much of the work. 

This imbalance between work and payment led me to parallel the situation with a story penned by the Brothers Grimm, called The Two Brothers. One brother is a rich goldsmith and the other is a poor broom-maker. The broommaker had two identical twin sons. One day, the broommaker saw a golden bird in the woods, knocked off a feather, and sold it to his brother for a great sum. He pursued the bird again and found a golden lamp. A third time, he brought back the bird itself, and his brother, who knew its powers, that whoever ate its heart and liver would find a gold coin beneath his pillow every night. He had his wife cook it. But his nephews came to the kitchen to beg, and when two bits fell from the bird, they ate them, and the gold coins appeared beneath their pillows. 

The story goes on... Having felt that there was a synergy between the two sets of brothers I have traced the story through the artwork word by word under each individually applied colour swatch. As a result close up reading is a must."