After several seconds of looking at the floating composition of dots in Geoffrey Todd Smith‘s installation at the Art Center, something happens. The dots start to move, pulsate, and jump. Smith’s use of contrasting colors and wave-like patterns animate the artwork like a video game, but without involving electronic technology. The visual experience of active looking is emphasized by the artist in the title of the work, “Here’s looking at you looking at me, kid,” to suggest that art can react to the viewer when looked at long enough. Chicago-based artist Geoffrey Todd Smith made hundreds of hand-painted, drawn and cut dots for this new wall installation.
Using a similar colored drawing from his extensive body of works on paper as source material for this piece (seen here), Smith has transformed these characteristically rowdy dots once confined by the picture frame into an optical experience of depth and perception. The installation reflected the artist’s overall interest in the repetitious, field-oriented arrangement of dots. According to Smith, “each drawing encourages the viewer to examine the images at their own pace. Additionally, the viewer is expected to be absorbed into the field by choosing and exploring a variety of pathways through the image. This offers the possibility of multiple viewings without a dictatorial approach to the composition.” Geoffrey Todd Smith currently teaches painting and drawing at Northern Illinois University and exhibits his work at Western Exhibitions gallery in Chicago’s west loop.