The Word "Art" Is Oversaturated March 27 2015

A young Brooklyn artist Alex Smetsky is telling us about New York, his view of Art, the way of life in "Big Apple" and what should be printed on toilet paper rolls.


Where should we start, maybe what inspired you to become an artist, going back to childhood, when did you first become interested in art?

I was always doodling, painting and creating something. I've only recently started taking it professionally. Both of my grandparents were amazing artists. They were heavy influences to me.

Especially my grandfather from my fathers' side. He was in museums and all. Absolutely amazing artist and a war hero. His art was heavily influenced by WW2. Weirdly enough, after he passed, I got super heavy into art. I kind of feel like his soul lives in me. That's when I got heavy into graffiti too. That eventually became life to me. Day and night that was all I would do. 

A lot of my influences come from my upbringing in the Russian culture and of course a lot of the influences that were around me in Brooklyn. I grew up in Bensonhurst, back when it was still manly Italian. It was an amazing time. There was so much energy in the streets back then.


What was one of the first artists you saw or pieces that really stood out to you?

I honestly don't remember, but Salvador Dali was probably the first artists I've ever acknowledged as a true genius.


What about it caught your attention?

How he just said "f.... it all" and did what he wanted. It was so rebellious. As all art should be.

How is New York fitting in this picture, artist leak recognition and money in the time of gentrification. Some would say true artist have to suffer for their art. How do you see it does it inspire and influence your art, maybe in a commercial way? 

I was blessed to have a survival mentality, and even more so- Blessed to have learned my value and the value of my happiness. I understand that my art might not sell right away. Thats fine with me. It's about the process so I'm just enjoying the ride. New York gives you a million ways to work on any end you'd like to. Because of NY, I'm not limited to experiences, connections and my choices of what I choose to do for a living while my art starts to take off.

It's amazing to love what you do in all aspects. Plus my position allows me to network and meet some amazing connections, artists and be on the frontline of all new trends. It's truly a gift.



5. What do you want to express with your art, how do you want to influence people. In which way will your art change or influence New York, USA or even the world?

Honestly, I don't even like to call myself an artist or my work art. Just like everything in the world nowadays, the word "Art" is oversaturated and there are a lot of people misusing this term for things that I personally think should be the new decorations on toilet paper rolls. I bring my visions to life. I see myself as an engineer or a craftsman. I'd like it to express positivity, beauty, happiness....only positive messages overall. I'd like it to inspire freedom.

When my family came here, we didn't have much. We built from ground up. And I too worked from a young age and worked for my own. I've failed tons of times but got up a lot more times. Taking a dive into the art world and instilling my faith into it is something that many will be scared to do at my age (29). It's not practical to pursue this when most people are focusing on stability and starting families. So I want to send that message of trusting yourself, having value in yourself and just going for the leap. F... it!

Now, I'm more influenced by the classic artists- so you'll see what's in store soon.



6. You recently had an exhibition. How was the feeling showing your art for the first time to a broader audience?

I was blessed to be part of several gallery exhibits my first year doing this professionally. It's beautiful and rewarding all at the same time. To see people coming out to see your work, support you, purchase it and ... overall it's just an amazing experience.

I'm trying to do more works now so I can have a solo exhibit soon. Not trying to rush it- but I just want to experience it all. Also, starting Mixed Medium was ultra rewarding. Seeing so many believe in the cause and seeing so many artists collaborating with me on the project. It was surreal. So many more projects to come! Ultimately I want to give back as much as I can. Spoil the fans.




View more of Alex's art and details