Sheila Smith x NoonSlaps
“Bouncy House” is a visual conversation, an unpredictable experiment, and, most of all - a party. In this exhibition, the visual languages of Sheila Smith (b.1968) and NoonSlaps (b.1994) come into joyful contact. Noon gravitates towards cellular forms: irregular shapes imbued with life. They’re packed with vivid splatters and labyrinths of lines. For Smith, it’s the humble dot that centers her painterly vocabulary. Dots are repeated, layered, and arranged in dazzling waves, swirls, and networks. They exist in landscapes composed of splashes, smears, miasmas, and drips.
For this exhibition, the gallery walls became Smith and Noon’s playground. Over a concentrated two weeks, the artists used spray paints, stencils, squeegees, acrylics, brushes, tape, and stickers in creative dialogue. The gallery was also laid with over two dozen canvases of various sizes and shapes. Each piece was passed back and forth over several rounds, the artists’ shapes and colors weaving, clashing, and harmonizing.
Smith and Noon come from quite disparate backgrounds, even beyond the generation-and-a-half divide. But the differences between a devout Christian Black woman from Arkansas and a nonbinary Chicagoland-born Assyrian seem rather insignificant when collaborating. According to Noon, “When I get a Sheila piece, I feel like I need to marry our work. I need to put myself in her shoes - what was she thinking when she put down certain marks?” For both artists, paint creates a world beyond words, a “Bouncy House” for play - and connection.
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