Alexis Smith United States, b. 1949

"I really feel comfortable with the material world. I really like objects. To me, they speak to me in a symbolic way that a lot of people will realize through my collages. I’m a great believer in making things that people can understand because the objects in them are really simple, but incorporating them into collages is unexpectedly beautiful and arresting, and slightly recognizable and not threatening. There’s a kind of symbiosis to it—the things, the words, the background, and the objects.  It’s fused into a whole where they seem like they’ve always been together, or were meant to be together. The people that look at them put them together in their heads."

-Alexis Smith


Born in Los Angeles in 1949, Alexis Smith studied painting at the University of California, Irvine. Throughout her career, Smith has exhibited extensively. 


Smith is known for her meticulously crafted mixed-media collages. Combining images, objects, and texts rescued from the detritus of popular culture—pulp novels of the 1940s and 1950s, postcards, road maps, movie stills, and advertising art—into witty, often sardonic statements, Smith examines and reconfigures American identity. In much of her work, the city of Los Angeles is a favored subject. Smith exploits the universal allure and fascination around Hollywood as the quintessential American transformational myth; the American Dream to ‘make it big.’ For her colorful mixed-media combinations and juxtapositions, Alexis Smith is a natural heiress to the spirit of Dada and Pop and the art of assemblagists such as Joseph Cornell.