George Henry Smyth
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George H. Smyth was born in Ardglass in 1968. His father was a talented water-colourist. Before entering art college, he had produced art work for Irish rock band Therapy?. Introduced by a mutual friend to the drummer, Fyfe Ewing, a connection was made and the band chose George to design the cover of their debut, self-financed single and two subsequent albums. He has fond memories of this period, "That was a great time being involved with those guys. Here were three very talented, angry young musicians who wanted to make music that sounded like nothing else around at that time." Their attitude reflected George's own and the resulting images are as loud as the music!
From 1991 to 1994 Smyth attended the University of Ulster; hed left with a B.A Honours degree in Fine Art. His work from this period was heavily influenced by the German Expressionists, the Scottish Realists Ken Currie and Peter Howson (whom he had befriended), and the work of local painters Rita Duffy and Dermot Seymour. It was also during this time that he started to travel and this was to have lasting effect on his artistic output.
Travelling the World
Travelling the world and visiting galleries and museums allowed him to study paintings he had only pondered over in books. Seeing the work of De Chirico, Magritte and of course Dali consummated his love with the surrealists. Cultural experience also fired his imagination and paintings such as "The Mask", "Time Traveller" and "Man and Painting" are all direct results of visiting such places as Fiji, Egypt and Australia.
California soon became his favourite destination, making Los Angeles his base he travelled all over the state. Charged by the heat and light he felt the need to inject this into his paintings, attempting to imbue the local landscape of home, (which he was beginning to use in his work), with the climate of the Golden State. "Tyrella Beach infused with the L.A. sunshine is probably a good way of describing a lot of the work", he says.
Tyrella, County Down where the artist has lived since 1995 is a major influence on his art. His studio has one of the best views in Ireland. "To the east is St. John's Point and famous lighthouse, over west I have a dramatic panorama of the equally famous Mourne Mountains and miles of horizon in between. Who wouldn't be inspired?".
Current work and commissions
Since leaving the city and moving out to the beach George has worked hard to become one of Ireland's most sought-after artists. One-man shows quickly sold out and demand for private commissions took precedence over putting on exhibitions. His canvasses engage both the heart and mind, provoking thought and stimulating debate in all who see them. He hopes this website will provide fans of his paintings the opportunity to view the progression of his work and an understanding of his influences.