I have always been a collector and had a magpie attitude to the things that inspire me. Ultimately, at its most basic, the materials I accumulate shape and inform my artwork and working process. These “ingredients” can vary from magazine and newspaper cuttings to sound recordings and objects from charity shops and second-hand markets.
The essence of my work has continually been about bringing together all these elements to tell a story. The narrative is created in the body of work as much as in the individual pieces. When compiled and collaged together all these components create intricate layered compositions and objects that deal with comparably complex subjects.
For me it is important not to just re-present the images around me, I have to instill some meaningful discourse from my life experiences and the world I see. My visual sampling process is informed by music, sampling from the past, re-appropriating and creating something new.
The narrative is not blatantly apparent, often hidden behind un-digestible layers of scribbled out pencil scrawl, whitewashed imagery, splats of paint, and contrasting, graphically sharp shapes.
Andy Smith produces work under the name “Smithsonian Rosterino” or “Rost” for short. For him a pseudonym offers another layer to the complexity of the work. It also distinguishes him from the multitude of other artists called Andy Smith.
His work covers a variety of disciplines including mixed media collage, painting, assemblage, sound installation and digital media. A collage attitude is at the heart of all his work.
Smithsonian Rosterino is the founding member of the Readerswives Collective, a small group of practitioners from areas such as graphic design, illustration, fine art, music and photography. Rosterino was also the founder of the Centre Fold Gallery and studio in Guernsey, Channel Islands.
Smithsonian Rosterino has predominantly exhibited in the United Kingdom but also in Australia and the United States.